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76e %»it6, gatofat* 
^tetonicat Review 

Issued Quarterly 

Volume XXXIX Numbers 1-4 




Tiftott&i - S fining - Scctnm&i - /tutuma 

t962 



The North Carolina Historical Review 

Christopher Crittenden, Editor in Chief 
Mrs. Memory F. Blackwelder, Editor 
Mrs. Elizabeth W. Wilborn, Editorial Associate 

ADVISORY EDITORIAL BOARD 

Frontis W. Johnston Miss Sarah M. Lemmon 

John R. Jordan, Jr. William S. Powell 

Robert H. Woody 



STATE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY 
EXECUTIVE BOARD 

McDaniel Lewis, Chairman 

James W. Atkins Ralph P. Hanes 

Miss Gertrude Sprague Carraway Josh L. Horne 

Fletcher M. Green Daniel J. Whitener 

Christopher Crittenden, Director 



This review was established in January, 1924, as a medium of publication and dis- 
cussion of history in North Carolina. It is issued to other institutions by exchange, 
but to the general public by subscription only. The regular price is $3.00 per year. 
Members of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, Inc., for which 
the annual dues are $5.00, receive this publication without further payment. Back 
numbers may be purchased at the regular price of $3.00 per volume, or $.75 per 
number. The review is published quarterly by the State Department of Archives and 
History, Education Building, Corner of Edenton and Salisbury Streets. Second class 
postage paid at Raleigh, North Carolina. 



7^e %»it6, &wrtw* 
*i¥i4to>Ucat Review 



VOLUME XXXIX 

NUMBER 1, WINTER, 1962 



SAGA OF A BURKE COUNTY FAMILY, PART I 1 

Edward W. Phifer 

THE BURNING OF WINTON IN 1862 18 

Thomas C. Parramore 

THE ROMANCE OF WOODROW WILSON AND ELLEN 
AXSON 32 

George Osborn 

THE PRISON DAIRY OF ADJUTANT FRANCIS ATHERTON 

BOYLE, C.S.A 58 

Edited by Mary L. Thornton 

BOOK REVIEWS 85 

Powell, A Collection of Many Christian Experiences, by Harold J. Dudley 85 

Walser, The Poems of Governor Thomas Burke, by William 0. Harris 86 

Hamilton, The Papers of William Alexander Graham, Volume III, 

1845-1850, by Roy F. Nichols 88 

Cope and Wellman, The County of Gaston: Two Centuries of a 

North Carolina County, by A. M. Patterson 89 

Brown, The Commonwealth of Onslow: A History, by Paul Murray 90 

Gwynn, Abstracts of the Records of Onslow County, North Carolina, 

173U-1850, by H. G. Jones 91 

Gwynn, The 1850 Census of Craven County, North Carolina, by H. G. Jones 92 

Marsh and Marsh, Historic Flat Rock, Where the Old South Lingers, 

by Oliver H. Orr • 92 

McNitt, Chain of Error and the Mecklenburg Declarations of Independence — 
A New Study of Manuscripts : Their Use, Abuse, and Neglect, 
by Henry S. Stroupe 93 

Franklin, A FooVs Errand, by Otto H. Olsen 95 

Easterby and Green, The Colonial Records of South Carolina, Series 1, 
Journal of the Commons House of Assembly, January 19, 1748- 
June 29, 1748, by C. G. Gordon Moss 95 



Contents 

McGee and Lander, A Rebel Came Home, by Richard N. Current 96 

Campbell, The Attitude of Tennesseans toward the Union, 1847-1861, 

by James W. Patton 97 

Eby, A Virginia Yankee in the Civil War: The Diaries of David 

Hunter Strother, by Richard Walser 98 

Rankin, The Battle of New Orleans: A British View. The Journal of 

Major C. R. Forrest, by Edwin Adams Davis 99 

de Grummond, The Baratat*ians and the Battle of New Orleans, by Richard Iobst . .100 

Brooks, The Siege of New Orleans, by Hugh F. Rankin 101 

Alden, The First South, by Lester J. Cappon 102 

Williams, Romance and Realism in Southern Politics, by Robert H. Woody 103 

HISTORICAL NEWS 106 



NUMBER 2, SPRING, 1962 

JAMES CARTER: FOUNDER OF SALISBURY 131 

Robert W. Ramsey 

SAGA OF A BURKE COUNTY FAMILY, PART II 140 

Edward W. Phifer 

ASPECTS OF THE NORTH CAROLINA SLAVE CODE, 

1715-1860 148 

Ernest James Clark, Jr. 

THE LOCAL RECORDS PROGRAM IN NORTH CAROLINA _ __165 

John Alexander McMahon 

A LAND MORE LARGE THAN EARTH 175 

Bern ice Kelly Harris 

THE SOUTH ON THE EVE OF THE CIVIL WAR 181 

Lenoir Chambers 

LETTERS FROM NATHANIEL MACON TO JOHN 
RANDOLPH OF ROANOKE 195 

Edited by Elizabeth G. McPherson 

NORTH CAROLINA BIBLIOGRAPHY, 1960-1961 212 

William S. Powell 

BOOK REVIEWS 220 

Hawks, History of North Carolina, by Hugh T. Lefler 220 

Meyer, The Highland Scots of North Carolina, 1732-1776, 

by Herbert R. Paschal, Jr 222 

Blackwelder, The Age of Orange: Political and Intellectual Leadership 

in North Carolina, 1752-1861, by Marvin W. Schlegel 222 



Contents 

Sharpe, A New Geography of North Carolina, Volume III, by H. G. Jones 223 

MacMillan, A Goodly Heritage, by Herbert O'Keef 224 

Patton, A Condensed History of Flat Rock, by D. Hiden Ramsey 225 

Noble, The School of Pharmacy of the University of North Carolina: A History, 

by R. B. House 225 

Spence, The Historical Foundation and Its Treasures, by Cyrus B. King 226 

Cathey, A Woman Rice Planter. By Patience Pennington, by Stuart Noblin .228 

Parker, Van Meteren's Virginia, 1607-1612, by Jack P. Greene 229 

Servies AND Dolmetsch, The Poems of Charles Hansford, 

by Mary Lynch Johnson 230 

Mason, My Dearest Polly: Letters of Chief Justice John Marshall 

to His Wife, by Memory F. Blackwelder 231 

Johnston, Virginia Railroads in the Civil War, by John G. Barrett 231 

Dowdey and Manarin, The Wartime Papers of R. E. Lee, by James W. Silver ... 233 

Bridges, Lee's Maverick General: Daniel Harvey Hill, by Glenn Tucker 234 

Frantz, Full Many a Name: The Story of Sam Davis, by T. Harry Gatton 236 

Dyer, From Shiloh to San Juan: The Life of "Fightin' Joe" Wheeler, 

by Louis H. Manarin 236 

Franklin, Reconstruction after the Civil War, by Fletcher M. Green 238 

Abernethy, The South in the New Nation, 1789-1819, by John Edmond Gonzales . .240 

Quarles, The Negro in the American Revolution, by Elisha P. Douglass 241 

GlPSON, The Triumphant Empire: Thunder-Clouds Gather in the West, 

1763-1766, by Carl B. Cone 242 

Main, The Antifederalists: Critics of the Constitution, 1781-1788, 

by Christopher Crittenden 243 

Johannsen, The Letters of Stephen A. Douglas, by Peter F. Walker 244 

Hubbard, Origins of the TV A: The Muscle Shoals Controversy, 

1920-1932, by Sarah McCulloh Lemmon 245 

Hall, Grave Humor: A Collection of Humorous Epitaphs, by Arlin Turner 246 

Hale, Guide to Photocopied Historical Materials in the United States 

and Canada, by H. G. Jones 247 

Middleton, The Interurban Era, by Michael J. Dunn, Jr 248 

HISTORICAL NEWS 249 



NUMBER 3, SUMMER, 1962 

RELIGIOUS TOLERATION AND POLITICS IN 

EARLY NORTH CAROLINA 267 

Haskell Monroe 

DANIEL WORTH: TAR HEEL ABOLITIONIST 284 

Noble J. Tolbert 



Contents 

SAGA OF A BURKE COUNTY FAMILY, 

CONCLUSION 305 

Edward W. Phifer 

THE KU KLUX KLAN: A STUDY IN RECONSTRUCTION 

POLITICS AND PROPAGANDA 340 

Otto H. Olsen 

LITTLETON FEMALE COLLEGE _363 

Ralph Hardee Rives 



BOOK REVIEWS 378 



Hickerson, Echoes of Happy Valley, by Edward W. Phifer 378 

Blythe and Brockmann, Hornet's Nest: The Story of Charlotte and 

Mecklenburg County, by Paul W. Wager 379 

Hand, The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, Volume VI, 

Popular Beliefs and Superstitions, by I. G. Greer 380 

Boykin, North Carolina in 1861, by Noble J. Tolbert 382 

Puryear, Democratic Party Dissension in North Carolina, 

1928-1936, by Christopher Crittenden 383 

Bradshaw, Toward the Dawn: History of the First Quarter-Century of the 

North Carolina State Association for the Blind, by Bernadette W. Hoyle 384 

Wish, Ante-Bellum: Writings of George Fitzhugh and Hinton 

Rowan Helper on Slavery, by Louis J. Budd 385 

Hopkins, The Papers of Henry Clay, Volume II, The Rising Statesman, 

1815-1820, by Richard D. Goff 386 

Dumond, Antislavery : The Crusade for Freedom in America, and 

A Bibliography of Antislavery in America, by Fletcher M. Green 387 

Graebner, Politics and the Crisis of 1860, by Richard D. Younger 389 

Wooster, The Secession Conventions of the South, by Alice B. Keith 391 

Tucker, Chickamauga: Bloody Battle in the West, by Robert E. Corlew 392 

Hatch, Edith Boiling Wilson: First Lady Extraordinary, by George Osborn 393 

Runge, Four Years in the Confederate Artillery: The Diary of 

Private Henry Robinson Berkeley, by Malcolm McMillan 394 

Doherty, Richard Keith Call: Southern Unionist, by Charlton W. Tebeau 395 

Patrick, Jefferson Davis and His Cabinet, by Robert Cotner 396 

Burgess, Negro Leadership in a Southern City, by Leslie W. Syron 398 

La Barre, They Shall Take Up Serpents, by Edwin S. Preston 398 

Munn, The Southern Appalachians: A Bibliography and Guide to Studies, 

by Beth G. Crabtree 399 

Rosenberger, Records of the Columbia Historical Society of Washington, D. C. 

1957- 1959, by Mattie Russell . . 400 



HISTORICAL NEWS 402 



Contents 



NUMBER 4, AUTUMN, 1962 



PATRONS OF THE PRESS: SUBSCRIPTION BOOK 

PURCHASES IN NORTH CAROLINA, 1733-1850 423 

William S. Powell 

WILLIAM R. KING AND THE COMPROMISE OF 1850 500 

John M. Martin 

THE MAN BEHIND THE BIRTH OF A NATION 519 

Raymond A. Cook 

CREDIT UNIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA 541 

William Hays Simpson 

TWO TIMROD LETTERS 549 

Douglas J. Robillard 



BOOK REVIEWS 554 



ROWSE, Sir Walter Ralegh: His Family and Private Life, 

by Mattie Erma E. Parker 554 

Lee, The Campaign, of 1781 in the Carolinas: With Remarks Historical and 

Critical on Johnson's Life of Greene, by Lawrence F. Brewster 555 

Reed, Beaufort County: Two Centuries of Its History, by William S. Powell . . . .556 

Speas, History of the Voluntary Mental Health Movement in North Carolina, 

by I. B. Holley, Jr 557 

Walser, The North Carolina Miscellany, by Edgar E. Folk 558 

Easterby and Green, The Colonial Records of South Carolina, Series 1, 
Journal of the Commons House of Assembly, March 28, 1749- 
March 19, 1750 by Daniel M. McFarland 559 

Hutchinson and Rachal, The Papers of James Madison, Volume I, 16 

March 1751-16 December 1779, by Philip F. Detweiler 560 

Talbert, Benjamin Logan: Kentucky Frontiersman, by Max F. Harris 561 

Smiley, Lion of White Hall: The Life of Cassius M. Clay, by Bennett H. Wall .... 562 

Patrick, A Concise Natural History of East and West Florida, 

by John J. TePaske 564 

Klein, President James Buchanan: A Biography, by Charles Grier Sellers, Jr 565 

Daniels, The Devil's Backbone: The Story of the Natchez Trace, 

by Donald E. Worcester 566 

Leyburn, The Scotch-Irish: A Social History, by Robert W. Ramsey 567 

Soule, The Know Nothing Party in New Orleans: A Reappraisal, 

by Edwin A. Miles 568 



Contents 

Parks, General Kirby Smith, C. S. A., by Richard Bardolph 569 

Hassler, Commanders of the Army of the Potomac, by J. Walter Coleman 571 

Shapiro, Confiscation of Confederate Property in the North, 

by Mary Elizabeth Massey 572 

Hirshson, Farewell to the Bloody Shirt: Northern Republicans and the 

Southern Negro, 1877-1893, by George B. Tindall 573 

Dykeman and Stokely, Seeds of Southern Change: The Life of Will Alexander, 

by J. Carlyle Sitterson 574 

Higginbotham, Daniel Morgan: Revolutionary Rifleman, by Robert L. Ganyard . .575 

Padover, To Secure These Blessings: The Great Debates of the Constitutional 
Convention of 1787, Arranged According to Topics, 
by J. Edwin Hendricks 577 



HISTORICAL NEWS 579 






Carolina State Library 
$aU»gh 



*i¥i4t<ntcal Review 



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TViaten. W62 



The North Carolina Historical Review 



Published by the State Department of Archives and History 
Raleigh, N. C. 

Christopher Crittenden, Editor 
Mrs. Memory F. Blackwelder, Managing Editor 
Mrs. Elizabeth W. Wilborn, Editorial Associate 

ADVISORY editorial BOARD 

Frontis W. Johnston Miss Sarah M. Lemmon 

John R. Jordan, Jr. William S. Powell 

Robert H. Woody 



STATE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY 
EXECUTIVE BOARD 

McDaniel Lewis, Chairman 

James W. Atkins Ralph P. Hanes 

Miss Gertrude Sprague Carraway Josh L. Horne 

Fletcher M. Green Daniel J. Whitener 

Christopher Crittenden, Director 



This review was established in January, 1924, as a medium of publication and discus- 
sion of history in North Carolina. It is issued to other institutions by exchange, but to 
the general public by subscription only. The regular price is $3.00 per year. Members 
of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, Inc., for which the annual 
dues are $5.00, receive this publication without further payment. Back numbers may be 
purchased at the regular price of $3.00 per volume, or $.75 per number. 



COVER — This drawing of gunboats approaching Winton was made in 
July, 1862, by a member of the Hawkins Zouaves, Pvt. Charles F. John- 
son, and may be found in his published diary, The Long Roll. For an 
article on the burning of Winton, see pages 18-31. 



t i¥l4to>Ucal 'Review 

Volume XXXIX Winter, 1962 Number 1 



CONTENTS 

SAGA OF A BURKE COUNTY FAMILY, PART I 1 

Edward W. Phifer 

THE BURNING OF WINTON IN 1862 18 

Thomas C. Parramore 

THE ROMANCE OF WOODROW WILSON AND ELLEN 

AXSON . 32 

George Osborn 

THE PRISON DIARY OF ADJUTANT FRANCIS ATHERTON 
BOYLE, C.S.A 58 

Edited by Mary L. Thornton 

BOOK REVIEWS . — - 85 

HISTORICAL NEWS 106 






Entered as second class matter September 29, 1928, at the Post Office in Raleigh, North 
Carolina, under the act of March 3, 1879. 



BOOK REVIEWS 



Powell, A Collection of Many Christian Experiences, 

by Harold J. Dudley 85 

Walser, The Poems of Governor Thomas Burke, 

by William 0. Harris 86 

Hamilton, The Papers of William Alexander Graham, 

Volume III, 1845-1850, by Roy F. Nichols 88 

Cope and Wellman, The County of Gaston: Two Centuries of a 

North Carolina County, by A. M. Patterson 89 

Brown, The Commonwealth of Onslow: A History, by Paul Murray. . . 90 

Gwynn, Abstracts of the Records of Onslow County, North Carolina, 

1734-1850, by H. G. Jones 91 

Gwynn, The 1850 Census of Craven County, North Carolina, 

by H. G. Jones 92 

Marsh and Marsh, Historic Flat Rock, Where the Old South 

Lingers, by Oliver H. Orr 92 

McNitt, Chain of Error and the Mecklenburg Declarations of 
Independence — A New Study of Manuscripts: Their Use, 
Abuse, and Neglect, by Henry S. Stroupe 93 

Franklin, A Fool's Errand, by Otto H. Olsen 95 

Easterby and Green, The Colonial Records of South Carolina, 
Series 1, Journal of the Commons House of Assembly, 
January 19, 1748-June 29, 1748, by C. G. Gordon Moss 95 

McGee and Lander, A Rebel Came Home, by Richard N. Current 96 

Campbell, The Attitude of Tennesseans toward the Union, 

1847-1861, by James W. Patton 97 

Eby, A Virginia Yankee in the Civil War: The Diaries of David 

Hunter Strother, by Richard Walser 98 

Rankin, The Battle of New Orleans: A British View. The Journal 

of Major C. R. Forrest, by Edwin Adams Davis 99 

de Grummond, The Baratarians and the Battle of New Orleans, 

by Richard Iobst 100 

Brooks, The Siege of New Orleans, by Hugh F. Rankin 101 

Alden, The First South, by Lester J. Cappon 102 

Williams, Romance and Realism in Southern Politics, 

by Robert H. Woody 103 



SAGA OF A BURKE COUNTY FAMILY 

By Edward W. Phifer* 

PARTI 

The Grandparents 

On the eighteenth day of January, 1769, a small boat put out from 
Accomack on the Eastern Shore. Braving a cold., stiff wind, it rolled 
awkwardly across the icy waters of Chesapeake Bay in a southwesterly 
direction and finally crunched into the landing at Hampton on the tip 
of the Virginia Peninsula. Two passengers stepped ashore and upon 
inquiry were directed to the tavern of William Armistead, which was 
located nearby. One of these visitors was a Presbyterian minister, the 
Reverend Charles J. Smith. The other was in his late twenties and wore 
the dress of a colonial gentlemen but his speech had a sharp New 
England flavor. His name was Waightstill Avery and he had recently 
finished a legal preceptorship under Littleton Dennis, a prominent 
attorney of the State of Maryland. 1 Dennis was an extraordinarily 
successful man and in addition to his law practice, owned and operated 
extensive plantations in both Somerset and Worcester counties. His 
house, "Beverly," faced the winding, sluggish Pocomoke River five or 
six miles from its estuary and was a landmark for the river boats that 
plied this stream. 2 Avery had studied there for almost eighteen months 
and during this time he learned to love the free and easy ways of the 
tidewater aristocracy and quite likely aspired to emulate them. 

* Dr. Edward W. Phifer is a local historian and medical practitioner in Morganton. 

1 "Biographical Sketch of Waightstill Avery with Illustrative Manuscripts," The 
North Carolina University Magazine, IV (August, 1855), 242, hereinafter cited as Uni- 
versity Magazine; North Carolina Papers, Draper Manuscript Collection, State Histor- 
ical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, hereinafter cited as Draper Collection. These papers 
contain Waightstill Avery's diary and a biographical sketch by his son, Isaac T. Avery; 
microfilm copy on file, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill, and also in 
the possession of the writer. 

2 George N. Mackenzie (ed.), Colonial Families of the United States of America 
(Baltimore, Maryland: 1914), 128; John Upshur Dennis, "Genealogical Tables of the 
Paternal Line of the Dennis family prepared prior to June, 1890" (place and date un- 
known). 



2 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Groton, Connecticut, was Avery's birthplace. The date of his birth 
was May 10, 1741. His paternal ancestor, great great grandfather 
Christopher, had reached Massachusetts Bay Colony in the "Great 
Puritan Migration" of the 1630's. Christopher, a middle-aged kersey 
weaver from the parish of Ipplepen in Devonshire, England, had 
brought his son with him when he migrated, but for some mysterious 
reason had failed to bring his wife. This omission subsequently got him 
into difficulties with the strict Puritan courts but he pleaded poverty and 
old age and his actions were excused. He likewise was hailed into court 
on several occasions for making derogatory statements about several 
ministers of the gospel but seems to have extricated himself without 
suffering excessive punishment. Drifting from Gloucester to Boston 
and then on to Groton, he never acclimated himself to this strange, 
primitive land. 3 Great grandfather James was more aggressive. He 
acquired large tracts of land around Groton, largely through grants, 
and served both church and state in various official capacities, particu- 
larly distinguishing himself in the horrible war with the Indian Chief- 
tain King Phillip in 1675-1676 and in his dealings with Indian problems 
in general. He acquired the title "Captain" from his military career 
and retained it throughout his life. 4 Grandfather Samuel followed the 
same pattern; his wife, Susannah Palmes, supposedly, could trace her 
lineage back to the early British kings. 5 WaightsthTs father was named 
Humphrey and his mother's maiden name was Jerusha Morgan. Hum- 
phrey also took an active part in municipal affairs, styled himself a 
carpenter, but in the main, was a land speculator who met with desul- 
tory success. Waightstill was the tenth child born to this union. 6 As a 
boy, with his brothers, he roved the hills and marshes of New London 
County, ate the delicious wild berries of various types that abounded, 
and boated or swam in the Thames or its tributaries. Periodically, he 
sailed down Long Island Sound to attend a school for boys conducted 
by the Reverend Samuel Seabury at Hempstead, Long Island. Orig- 
inally a Congregational minister in Groton, Seabury had switched to 
the Church of England and was serving an Anglican parish at Hemp- 

3 Elroy M. Avery and C. H. Avery, The Groton Avery Clan (Cleveland, Ohio: 2 vol- 
umes, 1912), I, 29-42, hereinafter cited as Avery and Avery, The Groton Avery Clan; 
Western Carolinian (Salisbury), April 17, 1821, in an obituary of Waightstill Avery 
gives the date of birth as May 3, 1745, hereinafter cited as Western Carolinian^ and 
a biographical sketch, Draper Collection, says he was "supposed to have been born 
about 1745." 

* Avery and Avery, The Groton Avery Clan, I, 43-78. 

5 Avery and Avery, The Groton Avery Clan, I, 114, 115. 

6 Avery and Avery, The Groton Avery Clan, I, 156-158; see also Homer D. L. Sweet, 
The Averys of Groton (Syracuse, New York: 1894), 1-15, 598. Actually, as pointed out 
by the genealogist, Allen L. Poe, Waightstill Avery's parents were first cousins, once 
removed. Consequently, he was descended from Captain James Avery, Sr., on both 
the paternal and maternal sides. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 3 

stead at the time he operated the school. Although none of his brothers 
had received the benefits of a higher education, Waightstill was deter- 
mined to go to college. In 1763 his mother died and shortly after, his 
father remarried. Nevertheless, Waightstill managed to enroll at Prince- 
ton the following year after attending Yale for a short time. In 1764 
the school was in its infancy. Except for the President's house and a 
few dependent outbuildings Nassau Hall was the sole building on the 
campus. This structure contained the college dining hall, recitation 
rooms, chapel, library, and student living quarters. Avery roomed with 
Oliver Ellsworth, who was destined to become Chief Justice of the 
United States Supreme Court. In 1765 he became a member of Clio 
Hall, one of the two highly influential secret literary and forensic 
societies founded at Princeton in that year. Waightstill Avery grad- 
uated in the illustrious class of 1766, was awarded first honors, and at 
graduation was Latin Salutatorian. 7 Imbued with the New Englander's 
feeling that an educated individual should choose between law, teach- 
ing, or the ministry, and also running short of money, he remained at 
Princeton for a year as an instructor at Nassau Hall Grammar School. 
It was after this stint that he decided to study law and left for "Beverly" 
on the Pocomoke. 

After staying a day or so with William Armistead at Hampton, Avery 
moved up the peninsula to Williamsburg. There he had dinner with 
John Tazewell, first clerk of the general court of Williamsburg, and 
called upon Peyton Randolph, speaker of the House of Burgesses, but 
the great man had little time for him. Avery felt ill at ease with Taze- 
well and Randolph but felt at home when with the Reverend Mr. 
Smith or when engaged in a philosophical discussion with John Camm, 
a clergyman of the Established Church who was Professor of Divinity 
at The College of William and Mary. 8 "His journal shows that he 
rarely omitted an opportunity to attend Divine worship on any oc- 
casion, especially upon Sunday, and that he was not merely attentive 
to religious ordinances, but studiously polite and kind in his inter- 
course with ministers of the gospel." 9 

7 A personal communication from L. H. Savage, Archivist of Princeton University, 
including a memorandum from Walter H. Everts, Jr., Office of the Secretary, Prince- 
ton University, dated December 3, 1954. See also Selina Lenoir to W. A. Lenoir, June 
20, 1837 (data on the Avery family), Isaac T. Avery to Selina Lenoir, August 15, 
1832 (data on Waightstill Avery), Lenoir Family Papers, Southern Historical Collec- 
tion, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill, hereinafter cited as Lenoir 
Family Papers. 

8 A personal communication from Mr. James A. Servies, Reference Librarian, The 
College of William and Mary, January 7, 1957, and citing Lester J. Cappon and Stella 
F. Duff, Virginia Gazette Index (Williamsburg, Virginia: 2 volumes, 1950), passim; 
and Lyon Gardiner Tyler (ed.), Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography (New York: 5 
volumes, 1915), IV, 510. 

9 University Magazine, August, 1855, 243, 



4 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Colonial Williamsburg was a pleasant and cultured community and 
Avery was naturally reluctant to leave but he felt it to his best interest 
to seek his fortune elsewhere— perhaps in the Carolina back country 
where there was a paucity of legal talent, only a handful of educated 
men, and personal wealth was almost nonexistent. At Princeton one 
of his classmates was Hezekiah J. Balch and he also had known 
Ephraim Brevard and Adlai Osborne of the class of 1768. These men 
enjoyed positions of prominence in the Carolina Piedmont and it seems 
to be a reasonable inference that they stimulated Avery to explore the 
region. 10 

In spite of a lame horse, he managed to reach Edenton on February 5 
and among others became acquainted with Samuel Johnston, the clerk 
of the court and Joseph Hewes, later one of the signers of the Declara- 
tion of Independence. On leaving Edenton he continued on through 
Northampton to Halifax where he entered upon a scene of elegant 
and refined festivities. "Puritan that he was, he lingered amidst these 
dalliances during three entire days." u Here he made the acquaintance 
of John Stokes and several members of the local bar. He then traveled 
to Salisbury by way of Hillsboro. This harrowing journey, during which 
he barely escaped drowning while fording a stream on horseback and 
endured many hardships and tests of endurance, he seems to have 
taken in stride. 

His description of a night at a North Carolina inn follows: 

February 22 — Wednesday, From Halifax 100 M. west of Edenton I set 
out for Hillsborough 100 still more west, rode 30 M., came late up with 
one Powels, and found him and one of his neighbors with two travellers at 
supper. I soon perceived the neighbor drunk ; and there being but one room 
in the house, he reel'd and staggered from side to side thro' it, tumbling 
over, not chairs, for there were none in the House, but stools and tables 
etc. He was soon accompanied in the staggering scheme, by the Landlord 
and Travellers, first one and then both, who all blunder'd, bald'd, spew'd 
and curs'd, broke one anothers Heads and their own shins, with stools and 
brused their Hips and Ribs with sticks of the Couch Pens, pulled hair, 
lugg'd, hallo'd, swore, fought, and kept up the Roar Rororum till morning. 
Thus I watched carefully all night, to keep them from falling over and 
spewing upon me. 12 

While in Hillsboro, he spent the evening with Ralph McNair, a 
wealthy Scotch merchant, and made the acquaintance of various court 



10 C. S. Wooten, "The Avery Family," Charlotte Observer, undated clipping, North 
Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina Library, hereinafter cited as Wooten, 
"Avery Family." 

11 University Magazine, August, 1855, 243. 

12 University Magazine, August, 1855, 249 ; Draper Collection. 



Saga op a Burke County Family 5 

officials. He reached Salisbury on March 2 and spent the evening with 
Colonel Edmund Fanning and Colonel John Frohock. Fanning was a 
man of great charm, a scholar of unusual attainment, and a native of 
the same section of Connecticut as Avery. Frohock's plantation home 
was the finest within a hundred miles. These artful men easily cap- 
tivated the young stranger. At Salisbury he also enjoyed the company 
of Superior Court Judge Richard Henderson and William Hooper, a 
signer of the Declaration of Independence. There he also met Samuel 
Spencer, later a judge, John Dunn, 13 and Alexander Martin, later the 
Governor of North Carolina. On March 16 he left for Hillsboro with 
Judge Henderson, Fanning, and Hooper. While there he spent an 
evening in a large crowd of lawyers and "narrowly escaped being in- 
toxicated/' 14 Here he also met Chief Justice Martin Howard. At the 
close of the term, he proceeded to Brunswick and there received his 
license to practice law from Governor Tryon; he returned by way of 
Cross Creek, now Fayetteville, and Anson Court House, where he 
made his debut at the bar. On April 18 he arrived at Charlotte and 
engaged living quarters in the home of Hezekiah Alexander. In three 
months he had visited every important place in the Province, with the 
exception of New Bern District, and had made the acquaintance of 
the most prominent persons at all the places he had been. However 
these influential men whom young Avery had so sedulously courted, 
at this very instant were engaged in a violent struggle for their poli- 
tical lives. They personified the political officeholders— the perennial 
courthouse crowd who controlled the local and county governments, 
reaped the benefits therefrom, and maintained their positions through 
the indulgence of the colonial governor and the support of the legal 
profession, clergy, wealthy merchants, and others of the colonial aris- 
tocracy. They were opposed, as usual, by the low income group who 
in this instance called themselves Regulators and the struggle which 
ensued is referred to as the North Carolina War of the Regulation. 
The Regulators felt that the officeholders were corrupt, and that their 
tax levies and fees were exorbitant. Avery's natural tendencies, his pro- 
fession, and his religious affiliations, as well as his admiration for 
Fanning and Frohock, prejudiced him against the Regulators and he 
unquestionably opposed them throughout the entire affair. On March 6, 
1771, he was arrested by a group of Regulators near Salisbury, was 
taken to a Regulator camp and held there for four or five hours, but 
was not harmed. While there he heard threats of violence made against 

"John Dunn was one of the founders of the Town of Salisbury and a leading 
citizen. He was later noted for his loyalist tendencies. 
14 University Magazine, August, 1855, 250. 



6 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Henderson, Fanning, and other officers of Rowan County as well as 
criticism of Governor Try on. All this information was conveyed to the 
government in a deposition which he made after his release. 15 

Several months later, after Governor Tryon's victory at the Battle 
of Alamance, the Regulator movement collapsed without effecting 
many of the reforms which had been sought. This much must be said 
about the Regulation in order to explain Avery's subsequent behavior: 
briefly, it was a popular revolt against the agents of government at the 
county level and not an effort to change the form of government. It 
was not a precursor of the Revolution, but a disorganized effort to 
"throw the rascals out." The targets of the Regulation were the men 
who later became leaders of the Revolution in North Carolina and 
Avery was one of them. 16 

Following his arrival in Charlotte he applied himself to the general 
practice of law in the courtrooms of Mecklenburg, Rowan, Tryon, 
and Anson. Like any young lawyer beginning his legal career, he 
participated in many minor cases, and in addition frequently served 
as King's Attorney when the permanent prosecutor was absent from 
court. When he found himself without work, he spent his days in read- 
ing and in study. Voltaire's History of Europe, Tobias Smollett's His- 
tory of England, and Daniel Neal's History of the Puritans were among 
the books he read during this period. He had access to the library of 
Lawyer Forsythe and here he "read the statutes at large." Sundays 
found him at church with mention in his diary of the minister's name 
and often some comment on the sermon. The Reverend George Mickle- 
john, an Anglican clergyman of Hillsboro, the Reverend Joseph Alex- 
ander of Sugaw Creek, the Reverend Mr. Halsey of Hopewell, the 
Reverend Little Balch, the Reverend Mr. Tate of Salisbury, and others 
were heard by him during the year 1769. In December of that year 
he accompanied the Reverend James Caldwell 17 on a preaching mis- 
sion to Charleston, South Carolina, and returned to Charlotte, North 
Carolina, on Christmas day. 

Wedded as he was to those "who delighted in the stern creed of 
Calvin" and fully embracing this creed himself, it was no quirk of des- 

15 William L. Saunders (ed.), The Colonial Records of North Carolina (Raleigh: 
State of North Carolina, 10 volumes, 1886-1895), X, 518-521, 548, hereinafter cited as 
Saunders, Colonial Records; Elmer D. Johnson, "The War of the Regulation: Its Place 
in History," 74, M.A. thesis, 1942, University of North Carolina Library. 

18 J. S. Bassett, "The Regulators of North Carolina," Annual Report, 1894, American 
Historical Association, 141-212. 

17 Probably this reference is to the Reverend James Caldwell of Connecticut Farms, 
a settlement near Springfield, New Jersey, and about 40 miles from Princeton. During 
the Revolution his wife was killed and his home burned by British soldiers. John R. 
Alden (ed.), The War of the Revolution by Christopher Ward (New York: 2 volumes, 
1952), II, 621. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 7 

tiny that found him in the vanguard when the necessity for American 
independence became evident. The passage of the Marriage and Ves- 
try Acts in 1769, together with the repeal of the charter of Queens Col- 
lege, sowed the seeds of revolution in Mecklenburg. These acts dis- 
couraged marriage by ministers other than those of the Established 
Church, levied taxes to pay the salaries of the Anglican clergy, and 
discriminated in favor of the Church of England generally. "We think 
it as reasonable that those who hold to the Episcopal Church should 
pay their own clergy without our assistance as that we, who hold to 
the Church of Scotland should pay our clergy without their assis- 
tance," 18 said forthright Waightstill Avery in the Mecklenburg Peti- 
tion which he prepared for presentation to Governor Tryon requesting 
the repeal of these acts. In the same document, he said, "We would 
inform that there are about one thousand freemen of us, who hold 
to the established church of Scotland able to bear arms, within the 
County of Mecklenburg." 19 

For the next seven years he continued to make his home in Charlotte 
and was actively engaged in the practice of law in that region. In- 
herently a scholarly man, he took an active part in the religious, ed- 
ucational, and cultural affairs of this community. He was particularly 
interested in maintaining Queens College, or Liberty Hall as it was al- 
so called, and he became a trustee of that institution of higher learning 
in January, 1771. The tides of politics engulfed him, however, and he 
became a zealous vigilante in the struggle for liberty. In the early fall 
of 1774 he made public the loyalist pledge of Major John Dunn, 20 
Attorney for the Crown at Salisbury, by reading the document to the 
whole Presbyterian congregation at their meeting in Mecklenburg and, 
several months later, took part in the coup d'etat that spirited away 
this unfortunate man to a Charleston, South Carolina, prison. 21 

He was not a delegate to the First Provincial Congress which met 
in New Bern in August, 1774, to elect delegates to the First Con- 
tinental Congress, and he apparently was not present at the Second 
Provincial Congress which met again at New Bern on April 3, 1775, 
for a similar purpose. However, he was one of the strong men in that 

18 University Magazine, August, 1855, 257. 

19 University Magazine, August, 1855, 257. 

39 This is the same John Dunn whom Avery met on his first visit to Salisbury, see 
note 13 above. 

a Walter Clark, The State Records of North Carolina (Winston, Goldsboro, and 
Raleigh: 16 volumes and 4-volume index [compiled by Stephen B. Weeks for both 
State Records and Colonial Records], 1895-1914), XIX, 899, hereinafter cited as Clark, 
State Records; John H. Wheeler, Historical Sketches of North Carolina from 158 % to 
1851 (New York: Frederick H. Hitchcock [2 volumes in one], reprint of the original, 
1925), I, 378, hereinafter cited as Wheeler, Historical Sketches. 



8 The North Carolina Historical Review 

turbulent band of patriots residing in Mecklenburg who began to hold 
meetings and agitate for independence in the spring of 1775. Out of 
these meetings came the spirit, if not the actual document, for the 
somewhat poorly-authenticated "Mecklenburg Declaration of Inde- 
pendence" of May 20, and out of them also came the inspiration for 
the well-authenticated Mecklenburg Resolves of May 31, 1775. This 
document was drafted either by William Kennon, a young Salisbury 
lawyer, or by Waightstill Avery. 22 On August 1, 1775, Avery was seated 
for the day as a member of the Rowan County Committee of Safety. 23 
By this time, he was in it all the way. 

On August 20, 1775, the Third Provincial Congress assembled at 
Hillsboro. Waightstill Avery was a delegate to this congress from 
Mecklenburg and was selected together with Samuel Spencer as mem- 
ber of the Provincial Council from Salisbury District. 24 This Council 
was to be the chief executive and administrative authority of the pro- 
vince. 25 Plans were made to place the province in a state of military or- 
ganization. Avery served as its agent in January, 1776, when he made 
a trip to Charleston to wangle a supply of gunpowder 26 and lead and 
in April, 1776, he was appointed on a commission to build a salt works 
but this project never materialized. 27 On April 4, 1776, the Provincial 
Congress again assembled at Halifax with Avery as a delegate from 
Mecklenburg. This Congress attempted to frame a constitution but 
was unsuccessful. The Council of Safety continued to rule the State. 
On November 12, about seven months later, they reconvened and ap- 
pointed a committee, of which Avery was a member, to form a Bill 
of Rights and Constitution for the State. 28 This was accomplished with- 
in a month. The Instructions of the Delegates from Mecklenburg to 
this Provincial Congress were in the handwriting of Waightstill Avery 
and served as one source of ideas for the Constitution and Bill of 
Rights. 29 It is known that he favored the division of the legislative 
branch of the State government into two bodies, with the election of 
members in a democratic fashion. The members of the judicial branch, 

22 Archibald Henderson, North Carolina; The Old North State and the New (Chicago, 
Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company, 2 volumes, 1941), I, 591. 

23 Saunders, Colonial Records, X, 135. 

24 Saunders, Colonial Records, X, 214. 

23 Hugh Talmage Lefler and Albert Ray Newsome, North Carolina: The History of 
a Southern State (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1954), 195, 
196, hereinafter cited as Lefler and Newsome, North Carolina. 

28 Saunders, Colonial Records, IX, 271 ; Draper Collection. 

27 Saunders, Colonial Records, X, 538. Avery apparently was not able to utilize his 
franchise to establish a salt works because he was occupied with other duties. R. L. 
Hilldrup, "The Salt Supply of North Carolina during the American Revolution," 
The North Carolina Historical Review, XXII (October, 1945), 403. 

28 Wheeler, Historical Sketches, 85, 86. 

28 Lefler and Newsome, North Carolina, 211. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 9 

he felt however, should serve as long as they demonstrated good be- 
havior. During his subsequent years in the legislature he consistently 
championed the cause of the underprivileged West against the more 
prosperous East. He took pains to protect those who occupied the land 
and looked on government land agents with cold suspicion. 30 He led 
a vigorous and persistent attack against a real estate tax based on 
acreage, arguing effectively that tax should be based on the actual 
value of the land rather than on the number of acres. 31 Whether he was 
able to introduce all of his ideas on State government into the new 
constitution, is certainly open to doubt. On the subject of higher learn- 
ing, however, his was a dominant influence. After having worked so 
diligently in an effort to establish a college in Mecklenburg, he now 
successfully sponsored Article Forty-one in the Constitution of North 
Carolina providing for the establishment of a State University. "The 
torch of higher learning in North Carolina, lit by Waightstill Avery, 
carried by Dr. McCorkle, and unsuccessfully offered by William 
Sharpe to an unresponsive legislature in 1784 passed as we have seen 
into the hands of William Richardson Davie." 32 

During the summer of 1776, Avery was kept busy in the service of 
the new State. In the successful campaign that was waged at that time 
against the Cherokee Indians by forces from North Carolina, South 
Carolina, and Virginia he served as liaison between General Griffith 
Rutherford in his home State and Colonel Andrew Williamson, who 
was operating in the vicinity of Keowee and Tugaloe in South Caro- 
lina. 33 

In April, 1777, at the first General Assembly of the newly independ- 
ent State, he served as a member of a commission which codified and 
rationalized the body of law inherited from the colonial courts. In 
June, 1777, about two months later, Governor Caswell appointed him 
a commissioner with three others, one of whom was William Sharpe, 
to act in conjunction with commissioners from Virginia, and obtain a 
treaty with the Cherokee Indians. They met at Fort Henry near the 
Long Island of the main Holston River and on July 20, 1777, the treaty 
was completed. 34 



80 Clark, State Records, XIX, 345. 

81 Clark, State Records, XVII, 410; XIX, 811. 

32 Archibald Henderson, The Campus of the First State University (Chapel Hill: The 
University of North Carolina Press, 1949), 29. To indicate that Avery was the only 
sponsor of this far-reaching article is perhaps misleading. For a detailed treatment 
of the subject, see R. D. W. Connor, "The Genesis of Higher Education in North 
Carolina," The North Carolina Historical Review, XXVIII (January, 1951), 1. From 
1795 to 1804 Avery served the University as a trustee. 

83 Saunders, Colonial Records, X, 651, 830. 

34 "So prominent was his leadership in negotiating the Treaty . . ., that it was after- 
wards commonly called Avery's Treaty." Archibald Henderson, "The Treaty of Long 



10 The North Carolina Historical Review 

On January 12, 1778, he received his commission as Attorney Gen- 
eral—the first to hold this office in the newly independent State. 35 The 
duties of his office took him much to New Bern where he met the 
young widow, Leah Probart Franks. He was over thirty years of age 
at this time, a man intellectually and emotionally mature, and he 
doubtless found in Mrs. Franks those attributes that he had applauded 
a decade before in his diary: "Beauty, Wit, Prudence and Money." 36 
She was the daughter of a British "mariner," a Welshman named Wil- 
liam Probart of Accomack County, Virginia, who had married a young 
lady of Worcester County, Maryland, named Leah Lane. Later Leah's 
mother married a certain Collier and this union brought the family to 
New Bern, North Carolina. After her initial marriage, Leah and her 
husband settled at "White Rock" on the Trent River, ten miles from 
New Bern. She was said to be possessed of "large landed interests" 37 
and was a "lady of great intelligence and amiability." 38 Within the 
year, Leah and Waightstill were married. Avery resigned his State of- 
fice and moved to his wife's plantation in Jones County where he was 
appointed Colonel of the Jones County regiment of militia by Gov- 
ernor Caswell on July 3, 1779. 39 He fulfilled this duty until the ter- 
mination of the war in October, 1781, but his command was not in ac- 
tive service except on occasional brushes with the Tories until it was 
called out when Cornwallis invaded North Carolina. 40 On the whole, 
he did not distinguish himself as a regimental commander and his 
military career was marred by a controversy which gradually devel- 
oped between him and Brigadier General Alexander Lillington and 
reached a denouement in July, 1781, when Lillington wrote Governor 
Burke roundly criticizing Avery's handling of his troops in a tactical sit- 
uation and accusing him of failure to co-operate with the high com- 
mand. 41 Meanwhile, in retaliation for his Revolutionary activities, 
Avery's law office in Charlotte was burned with all his books and 

Island of Holston, July, 1777," The North Carolina Historical Review, VIII (January, 
1931), 60w, hereinafter cited as Henderson, "Treaty of Holston." An abstract of the 
report of the commissioners is reproduced in this article. In one of his recorded 
addresses to the Cherokee chieftains, Colonel Avery said, "Brothers; we are now about 
to fix a line that is to remain through all generations, and be kept by our children's 
children; and we hope that both Nations will hereafter never have anymore disputes." 
Henderson, "Treaty of Holston," 89. 

35 Draper Collection. 

86 University Magazine, August, 1855, 249. 

^Wooten, "Avery Family"; Draper Collection. 

38 University Magazine, August, 1855, 246. 

"Draper Collection. 

*In a withdrawal from a skirmish with British troops under Major Craig, Colonel 
Avery commandeered a horse from a civilian to pull an artillery piece. The horse 
evidently vanished and the civilian sued Avery for the property loss. Avery's deposition 
regarding this matter is in the Princeton University Library. 

41 Clark, State Records, XXII, 345. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 11 

papers when that town was occupied by Cornwallis in the fall of 
1780. 42 

In an attempt to escape the wretchedness of malaria, he acquired 
a tract of land in the valley of the Catawba River from "Hunting 
John" McDowell and removed his family from Jones County after his 
retirement from military service. Here in the newborn County of 
Burke he found an equable climate, palatable spring water, and insects 
which tended to be less harmful; the stately trees were loaded with 
nuts and mast while verdant wild grasses and wild pea vines waved 
in the open forests; rolling hills looked down on spacious river val- 
leys and majestic mountains tinted the skyline to the north and south 
where the Appalachians jagged the Piedmont plateau; in short, like 
most of this westward country, the place he was to call "Swan Ponds" 
was not heaven, but it was attractive real estate. 43 

Here he resumed the private practice of law and again began to 
travel the western circuit. He plunged immediately into public affairs 
and in 1782, although he could not have been a Burke County resident 
for more than a year, he represented that county in the legislature, as 
he did in 1783, 1784, and 1785. His legislative career stretched over 
the years of the Continental Congress during the period between the 
Declaration of Independence and the ratification of the Constitution 
and before the States had delegated any important powers to the 
central government. States made treaties, issued their own currency, 
levied import and export duties, and otherwise considered themselves 
sovereign. He became an early member of the Quaker Meadows Pres- 
byterian Church where he listened to the lengthy discourses of the 
Reverend James Templeton, a Princeton man himself. In the Legisla- 
ture of 1783 he was instrumental in obtaining a charter for Morgan 
Academy, the first institution for formal education in Burke County 
and, together with other leading members of old Quaker Meadows 
Church, was designated as one of its trustees. 44 During the legislative 
session of 1784 he was appointed on a five-man commission to select 
a site and acquire land for the purpose of constructing a courthouse in 
Burke County. Two hundred and forty acres were purchased. A por- 
tion of this was set aside for public buildings and the residual sur- 



** Letter from Isaac T. Avery, August 19, 1821, to Archibald D. Murphey, William 
Henry Hoyt (ed.), The Papers of Archibald D. Murphey (Raleigh: North Carolina His- 
torical Commission [State Department of Archives and History], 2 volumes, 1914), 
I, 233-236, hereinafter cited as Hoyt, Murphey Papers. 

^Reuben G. Thwaites (ed.), Early Western Travels, 17U8-18U6 (Cleveland, Ohio: 
32 volumes, 1904-1907), III, 206-301, hereinafter cited as Thwaites, Early Western 
Travels. 

44 S. J. Ervin, Jr., "The Genesis of the First Presbyterian Church of Morganton, 
North Carolina," published in a privately printed pamphlet commemorating the ses- 
quicentennial of the First Presbyterian Church, Morganton, October, 1947, 11-19. 



12 The North Carolina Historical Review 

rounding acreage was retained for the establishment of a county seat 
which was eventually called Morganton. 45 Thus in a very short time, 
he had ingrained himself into the religious, educational, and political 
life of the western frontier. 

A man of culture and great dignity, he wore the powdered wig, knee 
breeches, and full dress of the colonial gentleman and continued to do 
so until the day of his death. Endowed with a keen sense of humor, 
he was a courtroom favorite, particularly at Jonesboro. There he was 
held in high esteem because of his work on the Holston Treaty and 
his achievements in the North Carolina Legislature. Nor did he en- 
tirely ignore opportunities for pecuniary gain. In 1785 he took out 
"hundred of grants" covering almost the entire valley of the North 
Toe River and its tributaries, the lower valley of the South Toe and 
Linville rivers, and the upper valleys of Pigeon and Mills rivers. 48 

In the late summer of 1788, as was his wont, he stowed his equip- 
age in his saddlebags and made the jouncing journey along the leafy 
trails and over the rhododendron-shaded paths to the trans-Appalach- 
ian town of Jonesboro to attend the August term of court. Here, amidst 
a cluster of huts and cabins in a huge wild land, stood the log court- 
house of Washington County, North Carolina - later to become a 
county of the State of Tennessee. Ribboned and bewigged, his sturdy 
figure attired in broadcloth coat, knee breeches, and silver-buckled 
shoes, Avery had long been recognized in this frontier settlement as 
a person of stature and significance. At forty-seven, he was at the 
zenith of his professional career and his name dotted the court calendar 
wherever he appeared. 

On a warm afternoon in the stuffy little courtroom, he found him- 
self confronted by the brash young lawyer, Andrew Jackson, who had 
come out to Jonesboro a few months before from Salisbury where he 
had studied law under Spruce McCay. Jackson had just turned twenty- 
one and in this particular instance was laboring under insurmountable 
handicaps. Not least of these was the fact that he had asked Avery to 
serve as his law instructor before he went to McCay but the older man 
had not seen fit to accommodate him, supposedly because of the 
limited housing facilities at "Swan Ponds." As the case dragged on, 
Jackson realized that he was losing it; yet Avery twitted him in a 



45 Clark, State Records, XXIV, 604. 

48 John Preston Arthur, Western North Carolina: A History from 1730 to 1913 
(Asheville: the Edward Buncombe Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolu- 
tion, 1914), 140, hereinafter cited as Arthur, Western North Carolina. According to 
records in the office of the Secretary of State, Avery filed 153 entries for 33,535 acres 
of land between 1778 and 1818; approximately 30 of these grants were never issued. 
In the main, his grants were located on the French Broad, Pigeon, Toe, Cane, Linville, 
and Catawba rivers and on many tributaries of these streams. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 13 

manner which lacked prudence and in ways which were most galling; 
doting on Jackson's untenable legal position, repeatedly lifting the 
beautifully preserved volume of his favorite legal authority— Matthew 
Bacon's Abridgement— from his green bag, quoting endlessly from its 
pedestrian paragraphs, and rolling out the long sententious sentences. 
Finally Jackson could brook his strictures no longer. "I may not know 
as much law as there is in Bacon's Abridgment, but I know enough not 
to take illegal fees," he blurted. Avery turned incredulously toward 
him and asked whether Jackson was accusing him of unethical prac- 
tice. "I do make that accusation, sir," said Jackson. "It's as false as hell," 
retorted Avery wrathfully. For the proud and sensitive Jackson, this 
was too much. He tore off a scrap of paper, scribbled a challenge on 
it and after presenting it to Avery, stiffly left the courtroom. Soon 
Avery also stalked out and sent his written acceptance to Jackson by 
his second, John Adair, the entry-taker of neighboring Sullivan County 
and a powerful man on the frontier. It is believed that Jackson chose 
as his second Superior Court Judge John McNairy who had accom- 
panied him to the West. Be that as it may, the choice of seconds was 
fortunate for through their mediations it was soon learned that Jackson 
did not wish to kill Colonel Avery and had intended to qualify his 
courtroom remarks by explaining that Avery was not familiar with the 
lawyer's fee schedule which had been most recently established by 
statute. Avery's impetuous reply carrying the accusation of falsehood 
had cut him short and he felt that his challenge was unavoidable; he 
had been insulted in public and had resorted to the customary method 
of righting such a wrong. As for Colonel Avery, he was no duelist, and 
was opposed to dueling on principle; middle-aged, scholarly, a man of 
order in a turbulent country, with a Puritan background and clerical 
associations, nothing could have been more distasteful to him than 
this "affair of honor." Nevertheless, after the sun had set and the air 
had cooled as well as their tempers, they faced each other on the high, 
wooded hill that dominates the little town on the south. A shot fired 
from each pistol well above the heads of the respective adversaries 
settled the matter and put everyone in a jocular mood. 47 

In spite of the fact that there are no contemporary accounts of this 
incident, the various reports that have been written show few incon- 
sistencies. The Olds report was obtained from a member of the Avery 
family; the Allison report was most painstakingly obtained from older 
citizens of Jonesboro who were veterans of the War of 1812 and gave 
identical accounts of the duel story; the source of the Henderson report 

* 7 John Allison, Drop Stitches in Tennessee History (Nashville, 1897), 110-118, here- 
inafter cited as Allison, Tennessee History. . 



14 The North Carolina Historical Review 

is not given but it differs little, if at all, from the Olds account. The 
major difference in the two authoritative accounts hinges around 
Bacons Abridgment. Olds says that Jackson used it as his favorite 
authority and Allison contends that it was Avery who used it repeatedly 
as a courtroom reference. 48 A humorous legend exists regarding the 
aftermath of the duel, and is reported by both Olds and Allison but 
apparently was never mentioned by either Avery, Jackson, or Adair. 
Allison's version fits in with his contention that Avery was the admirer 
of Bacons Abridgment. He states that after the two principals had 
shaken hands, Jackson produced a package the size and shape of 
Bacon's Abridgment, saying, "Colonel Avery, I knew that if I hit you 
and did not kill you immediately, the greatest comfort you could have 
in your last moments would be to have Bacon's Abridgment near you; 
and so I had my friend bring it to the ground." Whereupon, Jackson's 
second stepped forward and presented Avery with the package, which 
when opened, proved to be a slab of cured bacon cut to suitable size. 
Olds and Henderson tell the story in a way which make Avery the 
prankster and Jackson the butt of the joke. 49 The entire incident, both 
duel and aftermath, was an empty farce which might have ended 
tragically and does not add to the stature of either man. 

As the years rolled by Colonel Avery eschewed public office though 
he never lost his flare for politics. He made his last appearance in the 
legislature in 1793 and served one term in the State Senate in 1796, 
just fourteen years before his son Isaac appeared in the legislature. 
He continued the practice of law until 1801 when he was thrown from 
his horse, injuring his right lower extremity so severely that he was 
never again able to walk and this obviously restricted his professional 
activities, though he often served as a judge of the county court. 50 

The later years of his life were spent largely at home in Burke County 
where he is said to have enjoyed peace and plenty and the love and 
regard of his neighbors. A transient promoter and land speculator who 
visited the area in 1795, scribbled in his diary as follows: 

Out and on the 3rd I continu'd at my draughts to make the Returns in 
the after Noon Col Avery an attorney at Law who liv'd four miles out of 
Town waited on me to wride home with him and as we ware just setting out 



48 Allison, Tennessee History, 110-118; Arthur, Western North Carolina, 357-359, 
quoting Colonel Fred Olds in Harper's Weekly, December 31, 1904. 

49 Archibald Henderson, a newspaper clipping of November 7, 1926, on the Avery- 
Jackson duel, North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina Library. 

60 Waightstill Avery to Dr. William Cathcart, December 15, 1804, Waightstill Avery 
Papers, Southern Historical Collection, hereinafter cited as Avery Papers; Selina 
Lenoir to W. A. Lenoir, June 20, 1837, Lenoir Family Papers; Minutes of the Burke 
County Court of Pleas and Quarter Session, 1807-1820, passim, State Department of 
Archives and History. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 15 

Mr. Devinport who was makeing the survey for Mr. Hugh Tate and myself 
arived and Col. insisted on his going with us accordingly he did we Rode 
out Mr. Avery has one of the finest Country seats I have ever seen in this 
State and live very well his wife is a very well Bred woman and appear 
mutch like a Lady the have a fine famly of Children and a daughter well 
Bred with a handsom fortune on the fourth We continu'd to Breckfast & I 
got the Col to take a list of his lands Enter'd within my surveys after 
Breckfust I held a Confab with his who I foun'd to be a Verey well bred 
Young woman. 51 

In the arrangement of all his affairs, both public and private, he was 
methodical and systematic. His library was the most extensive and 
well selected in the western part of the State. When the State House 
was destroyed by fire in 1831, the Governor was able to draw from 
the Avery library the only complete collection of printed copies of 
the Acts and Journals of the General Assembly known to be extant. 52 
Even when earlier in life he had been enmeshed in public affairs, his 
family stood foremost and his relations with his wife and children had 
been characterized by devotion, warmth, and affection; as the years 
rolled by, these tendencies were accentuated and he became the 
gentle patriarch— contented, wordy, and perhaps a little self-satisfied. 
He is said to have been unusually fond of sweets, particularly honey, 
and although he stoutly protested that butter did not agree with him, 
he was known to eat foods containing this delectable ingredient with 
the greatest avidity. He remained volubly religious and his moral and 
ethical concepts harkened back to the puritanism of his childhood. 
His last will and testament, which was drawn several years before 
his death, provided adequate land and slave holdings for each of his 
three daughters 53 and a dower for his wife but a major portion of his 
estate, including "Swan Ponds" plantation, went to Isaac Thomas 
Avery, 54 his only son; it also provided posterity with a lengthy instruc- 

61 A. R. Newsome (ed.), "John Brown's Journal of Travel in Western North Caro- 
lina in 1795," The North Carolina Historical Review, XI (October, 1934), 309, 310. 

63 University Magazine, August, 1855, 245. 

53 His daughters were Polly Mira, who first married Caleb Poore and later Jacob 
Summey of Asheville; Elizabeth or Betsy, who married William B. Lenoir and mi- 
grated to Tennessee; and Selina Louisa, who married Thomas Lenoir. Both William 
and Thomas Lenoir were sons of General William Lenoir of Fort Defiance in Happy 
Valley, now Caldwell County. In addition to their own children, the Averys took into 
their home and were instrumental in rearing the Lavender children, orphans of Leah's 
(Mrs. Avery) sister; several of the children of Waightstill's deceased brother Isaac 
also lived with them for a time. The seven minor children of their daughter, Polly 
Mira Poore were largely their responsibility, as she was divorced from Poore in 1813. 
Laws of North-Carolina Enacted by a General Assembly . . ., 1813, c. XCV; Minutes 
of the Burke County Court, April and July sessions, 1813, State Department of Ar- 
chives and History. 

64 Two years before his death, Colonel Avery listed his property subject to taxation 
in Burke County essentially as reproduced in Table I. Property owned in other coun- 
ties is, of course, not included. 



16 The North Carolina Historical Review 

tive discourse on Christian ethics and the joys of redemption. The 
following excerpts are from this instrument: 

And I now will address a few words to those who may be interested in 
this my Testament after my decease. All may be assured that no part of 
what is here devised was acquired by horse racing, gambling or betting of 
any kind, but by sober, honest industry and full of cheerful hope and 
assurance that the same will not be squandered or desecrated by idleness 
and extravagance of any kind. . . . Let me entreat you that when I am laid 
in the silent grave you may not contend one with another about this 
property. I entreat you to aid and assist each other, do good to each other, 
let no one envy or covet the lot of another but each one receive the part here 
given as the bounty of Heaven. . . . Consider that the good things of the 
world are the gifts of God. . . . Drawing near to taking a lasting rest, let 
me address a few words to you, Leah, who have been the dear wife of my 
bosom, and to my dear children, and call upon you all in the first place to 
bless, to praise and to give thanks to God, the author of all good, that it 
has pleased Him in His kind and worshipfull providence to preserve our 
lives and spare us to each other. . . . This consideration ought to lead you 
to read and examine the scriptures, the divine creeds of truth, and may 
God grant that you may therein discover every duty. 55 

On the morning of September 30, 1819, while in earnest conversa- 
tion with Judge Archibald D. Murphey, regarding education and in- 
ternal improvements, in the judges' chambers at the courthouse in 
Morganton, he developed a cerebral accident which rendered him 
paralyzed on the right side. He never recovered from this attack. After 
a lingering illness, death came to this old Nassovian at three o'clock in 
the morning, March 15, 1821. 56 His wife Leah survived him almost 
eleven years and died on January 13, 1832. Both were buried in the 
family burying ground at "Swan Ponds." 

65 A document purported to be the last will and testament of Waightstill Avery, 
written in longhand and dated February 20, 1819, is housed in the office of the Clerk 
of Court, Burke County. A certified copy is also in Burke County Wills, State De- 
partment of Archives and History. 

50 Isaac T. Avery to William B. Lenoir, October 7, 1819, Isaac T. Avery to Thomas 
Lenoir, March 29, 1821, Lenoir Family Papers; Western Carolinian, April 17, 1821; 
Draper Collection gives March 16, 1821, as the date of death of Colonel Avery and 
January 20, 1832, as the date of death of his wife, Leah. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 17 

TABLE I 

A List Of The Taxable Property of Waightstill Avery In 
Burke County, 1818* 

2,402% Acres of land including the "Swan Ponds" of the Cataba 
[sic'] River on the North Side and on both sides Canoe 
Creek and lands adjoining assessed by James Murphy 
Esqr. in 1817 8,105 

105 Acres in a new grant adjoining Greenberry Wilson's old 

place and [illegible] 100 

589 Acres of land on the South Side of Cataba [sic] River 
part thereof in South Mountain 

100 Acres in a new grant adjoining Brandon's Meadow 550 

1,080 Acres in the Sugar Cove of little Rock Creek, and on the 
sides and spurs of the surrounding mountains assessed 
by Daniel Brown, Esqr. to 1,280 1,280 

3,340 Acres including the Crabb Orchard of Toe River and 
disspersed [sic] in the mountains and up and down the 
River 2,572 

2,130 Acres on Linville and disspersed [sic] on the mountains 

assessed by Daniel Brown Esqr. at 980 500 

595 Acres in the North Cove 650 

2,614 Acres on the waters of Linville and Toe River entered 

for the Range, of the value of 103 103 

13,0biy 2 Acres of the value of 13,300 

Two town lotts [sic] in Morganton of the value of 200 . . 200 

25 taxable slaves between the age of 12 years and 50 years 
No stud horse No store 

W. Avery 

* From Burke County Tax Lists, State Department of Archives and History. 

[To be continued] 



"■"X*.."* 






THE BURNING OF WINTON IN 1862 
By Thomas C. Parramore* 



On February 20> 1862, between eleven o'clock in the morning and 
2:00 p.m., the village of Winton on the Chowan River was burned by 
Union troops. The first burning of a town during the Civil War re- 
sulted in an entire regiment's failure to receive medals it had earned 
for earlier heroism and brought disgrace to the man who led the op- 
position. The story is an object lesson of the futility of war. 

Although North Carolina cast in her fortunes with those of the 
Southern Confederacy on May 20, 1861, it was not until early Feb- 
ruary, 1862, when Roanoke Island fell to Federal forces, that the Civil 
War made itself seriously felt in the eastern regions of the Tar Heel 
State. Overnight the sounds and rivers of the Albemarle-Pamlico 
region were exposed to the imminent possibility of being overrun and 
decimated under the heel of enemy armies. Terror and dismay fell 
upon the Coastal Plain population while the legions of the young 
Confederacy, busy with heavy fighting in other areas, looked back 
to discover themselves vulnerable far down along their own coast line. 
Their consternation was not unwarranted. Within a few days after 
the fall of Roanoke Island, Federal troops crushed the Confederate 
naval element bottled up at Elizabeth City and occupied that town 
and Edenton, opening up the Chowan River with all the prospering 
towns and villages along its winding shores. 

Faced with the need for an immediate policy-decision as to the 
drastic situation along the Outer Banks, the military leadership of the 
Confederacy decided that it could not spare the large numbers of 
troops it would require to oust General Ambrose E. Burnside from his 
hard-won points of vantage. There being no indication that the Union 
strategists sought to create a large-scale front there, the Coastal Plain 
would, for the time being at least, be allowed to become a "no-man's- 
land," lacking the full protection of Confederate armies, deprived of 
the civil guardianship of the State government, helpless before light- 
ning raids by both sides, and prey to the hordes of deserters and felons 

* Mr. Thomas C. Parramore is a native of Winton and is a Ph.D. degree candidate 
in history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 



The Burning of Winton in 1862 19 

known as "buffaloes" who were to pillage and plunder the region for 
the next three and a half years. 

Among the token units hastened in to discourage Federal occupation 
of key river towns were the First Battalion of North Carolina Volun- 
teers from a camp near Suffolk, Virginia, and Company A of the 
Virginia Mounted Artillery from the Portsmouth area, both of which 
proceeded in early February to Winton, a shipping point about forty 
miles up the Chowan from Edenton. It seemed likely that Union gun- 
boats might at any moment strike in the vicinity of Winton, from which 
base the Federals could then move upon Norfolk or the vital rail junc- 
tion at Weldon. At best, these southern units constituted but slight inter- 
ference with whatever plans the enemy was to prosecute. The North 
Carolina Volunteers, under Lt. Col. William T. Williams of Nash 
County, numbered about four hundred raw soldiers, while Capt. J. N. 
Nichols' Southampton Artillery brought four pieces of light artillery 
having less aggregate fire-power than a single Union gunboat. Col. 
William J. Clarke, area Commandant whose headquarters were ten 
miles away at Murfreesboro, pled with Confederate Secretary of War 
Judah P. Benjamin that "these forces are wholly inadequate to the 
important services required of them, and ft] respectfully, but most 
urgently, request that an additional force of cavalry and artillery may 
be immediately placed at my disposal." 1 Clarke went on to point out 
that the Roanoke-Chowan region contained enough provisions to 
supply the entire Confederate Army for at least six months and ought 
to be stoutly defended. But the die was cast; no help was forthcoming. 
Winton was a small town, prospering modestly by virtue of its fisheries 
and a traffic in naval stores spearheaded by the far-reaching enterprises 
of the late John A. Anderson. The main part of town comprised only 
about twenty houses, with a few others scattered about the outlying 
vicinity. Probably there were less than three hundred inhabitants with- 
in its corporate limits. So small was the town that the arriving Con- 
federate soldiers under Williams and Nichols found it necessary to oc- 
cupy nearly every building. Three office buildings and two stores of the 
wealthy widow Anderson were requisitioned by the soldiers as quar- 
ters, along with two buildings belonging to James Northcott, the office 
of Dr. R. H. Shield, a building owned by a Mrs. Halsey, four owned 
by Col. Pleasant Jordan (including his spacious hotel), James H. Gat- 

1 R. N. Scott and Others (eels.), The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the 
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, D. C.: Government 
Printing Office, 70 volumes [127 books, atlases, and index], 1880-1901), Series I, IX, 
439-440, hereinafter cited as Official Records. 



20 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ling's old store, and the courthouse and jail. 2 Numbers of horses, 
mules, and wagons belonging to local people were also hired by Capt. 
J. L. Frinsley, the battalion quartermaster. Room was at length found 
for the Confederate defenders, including several companies of militia 
which raised the total number of soldiers at Winton above seven hun- 
dred, and the town entered upon a period of ominous anticipation. "I 
can tell you," wrote Hyram Freeman's colored servant Mariah Bowens 
to a friend at New Bern on February 19, "old Winton is coming out, 
she is in a stir from morning until night. The people of this place are 
expecting an attack here almost all the time. . . . Every house, room, 
and everything else that was vacant is full now. Mrs. Jordan moved 
all of her things out of town and they have got possession of every 
room in her house except one." 3 Winton did not have long to wait. 
Early that same afternoon, Yankee gunboats were reported to be only 
a few miles down the Chowan, steaming toward the town. 

Col. Williams laid his plans carefully, deploying his riflemen behind 
the bushes and oak trees along the top of the forty-foot high bluff be- 
hind which the town was situated, while Nichols directed the manning 
of his artillery, already in position on the bluff. With luck, an approach- 
ing gunboat might be lured so close to the bluff that her cannon could 
not be brought to bear, leaving her helpless under the southern mus- 
kets and artillery. To insure the effectiveness of his ambush, Williams 
hired a thirty-year-old mulatto woman named Martha Keen, if one 
may credit the testimony of tradition, to go down to the shore and 
signal to the approaching gunboats that it was safe to come in to the 
wharf. All eyes turned toward the bend in the river below Barfield's 
landing, a mile downstream, as the first sound of steam engines drifted 
across the woods beyond. 

The Federal expedition consisted of eight gunboats: the Flagship 
"Delaware" in the lead, trailed by the "Commodore Perry" about a 
mile farther down the river, with the "Louisiana," "Morse," "Hunch- 
back," "Whitehead," "Barney," and "Lockwood" following some sev- 
en miles behind. 4 On board were the Ninth New York Volunteers, 
known as the "Hawkins Zouaves" after their colorful leader, Col. 
Rush C. Hawkins, a group fresh from having tasted blood in the first 

a "Exhibit A," which was originally attached to the report of Colonel Rush C. Haw- 
kins. See Official Records, Series I, IX, 195-196. This exhibit, a letter found by the 
Union commander in the Winton Post Office, was omitted from the Official Records, 
but may be seen in the Civil War Division, National Archives, Washington, D. C. 

3 "Exhibit B," originally attached to the report of Hawkins, Official Records, Series 
I, IX, 195-196, was also omitted from the printed report. 

4 Charles F. Johnson, The Long Roll; Being a Journal of the Civil War, as set down 
during the Years 1861-1863 by Charles F, Johnson, Sometime of the Hawkins Zouaves 
(East Aurora, New York: Roycrofters Printers [Duluth edition], 1911), 102, herein- 
after cited as Johnson, The Long Roll. 



The Burning of Winton in 1862 



21 




Rush C. Hawkins 



22 The North Carolina Historical Review 

bayonet charge of the war two weeks before on Roanoke Island. In 
addition to the eight hundred or more men of this regiment, there were 
several companies of the Fourth Rhode Island Infantry aboard. But 
besides these army units, the gunboats could boast of an imposing 
array of heavy artillery, including boat howitzers, 32-pounder cannon, 
and 9-inch guns. The flotilla had left anchorage at Plymouth shortly 
after daybreak that morning. A member of the Zouaves wrote in his 
diary: 

Our fleet headed by the Flagship made a lively display as we entered 
the river, and a novel one for these peaceful-looking waters, I'll war- 
rant, composed as it was of vessels of the utmost contrast in purpose, 
build, and appearance. The old ferry-boats, painted black as the ace of 
spades, are the most strange to see as gunboats, but as such are ex- 
cellent, being sturdily built and capable of operating in very shallow 
waters. 5 

When the "Delaware" entered the Chowan early in the morning, 
Col. Hawkins took the precaution of climbing up to the crosstrees as 
volunteer lookout. His orders from Burnside were to investigate cer- 
tain reports that five hundred Union sympathizers had raised the 
American flag at Winton and were awaiting the protection of Federal 
troops, and to destroy the bridges of the Seaboard and Roanoke Rail- 
road across the Nottaway and Blackwater rivers above Winton. 6 At 
two o'clock in the afternoon, Colerain was passed, its wharf ablaze by 
act of retreating Confederates. 7 About 4:00 p.m. the town of Winton 
came dimly into sight through the evening mist and the crew of the 
"Delaware" was piped to the messroom for supper. Minutes later the 
wharf at Winton was discerned and Lt. Quackenbush ordered the en- 
gines of his vessel slowed. Pilot Nassa Williams, a North Carolinian 
and familiar with these waters, turned the ship in toward the landing, 
unaware of the Confederate infantry crouching on the ridge above 
him. As they neared the wharf, flotilla-commander Stephen Rowan on 
the hurricane deck and Col. Hawkins in the crosstrees were cheered 
to see a Negro woman standing back of the landing motioning the ves- 
sel to approach by waving a piece of cloth. At this precarious moment, 

6 Johnson, The Long Roll, 104. 

"Rush Christopher Hawkins, "Early Coast Operations in North Carolina," Robert 
Underwood Johnson and Clarence Clough Buel (eds.), Battles and Leaders of the Civil 
War . . . (New York: The Century Company, 4 volumes, 1887-1888), I, 646. This 
reference will hereinafter be cited as Hawkins, "Coast Operations in North Carolina." 

7 Thomas E. Quayle (on watch) , "Remarks for February 19, 1862," Log of the United 
States Steamer "Whitehead," November 19, 1861-November 23, 1862, Naval Records 
Section, National Archives, Washington, hereinafter cited as Quayle, "Remarks . . ." 
Log of the "Whitehead." 



The Burning of Winton in 1862 23 

when less than fifty yards from shore, the eagle eye of Hawkins was 
arrested by the glint of the evening sun upon cold steel. Surveying the 
top of the bluff at a glance, Hawkins saw the Confederate troops be- 
hind their cover and stared into the yawning barrels of four cannon. 
Let him describe the next desperate instant: "I shouted to the aston- 
ished native pilot at the helm, 'Ring on, sheer off, rebels on shore!' fully 
half a dozen times before he could comprehend my meaning. At last 
he rang on full speed, changed his course, and cleared the wharf by 
about ten feet." 8 At the moment Hawkins began his scrambling retreat 
from the crosstrees, Col. Williams on shore gave the order to fire and 
instantly the evening air was thick with the thunderclap of musket-fire 
unleashed by the southern soldiery. The ratlines were shot out of 
Hawkins' hands as he slid down, and he plummeted the rest of the 
way. The men in the messroom raced up and threw themselves face- 
down on the deck; Signal Officer Gabaudan felt a tug at his side and 
looked down to see his sleeve shot away from an uninjured arm. Sol- 
diers and sailors dived left and right for whatever cover the exposed 
deck would afford, as the "Delaware," her wheelhouse, sides, and su- 
perstructure peppered with shot, drew agonizingly off from shore and 
up past the town. Notwithstanding the torrent of bullets and buckshot, 
the vessel was not struck by any of the larger shells poured down by 
Nichols' artillery and escaped crippling injury. As soon as she was be- 
yond musket-range, the "Delaware" was brought around in the narrow 
stream and her authoritative Dahlgren and Parrott guns trained on the 
bluff. Some of the Federal shells struck their mark while others flew 
on past to drop aimlessly into the woods and fields beyond Winton. As 
the "Delaware" opened fire, the "Commodore Perry," approaching the 
scene from below, opened upon the Confederates with more heavy 
artillery. Captain Nichols, directing his battery from the saddle, sud- 
denly found himself thrown to earth, his mount shot from under him. 9 
A piece of shrapnel struck the cartridge belt of a Confederate soldier 
and the bursting cartridges brought him down also with painful in- 
juries. 10 Overcome by the Federal artillery, the southerners broke and 
dashed for whatever protection they could find. Another man and a 
horse were injured in the melee but no one was killed. Having tempo- 
rarily silenced her adversary, the "Delaware" ran back down past the 
town, receiving only a scattering of shot as she passed, and joined the 
"Perry" in hasty departure from the scene of so inhospitable a wel- 

8 Hawkins, "Coast Operations in North Carolina," 647. 

9 Daily Express (Petersburg, Virginia), February 22, 1862, hereinafter cited as 
Daily Express. 

w Semi-Weekly Raleigh Register, March 1, 1862. 



24 The North Carolina Historical Review 

come. Despite all the bombardment of shell, shrapnel, and rifle-fire, 
the Union men were amazed to find that the only injury they had sus- 
tained was to the battered ramparts of the "Delaware. " 

At Winton the Confederates were jubilant. Years later a Negro re- 
called them going past her home shouting: "We gave them hell, didn't 
we?" As the soldiers emerged from cover they could justly pride them- 
selves that the town remained unharmed and the enemy gunboats re- 
treated headlong in the direction whence they had come. Doubtless, 
as it seemed then, the Federals had suffered numerous casualties. That 
evening a celebration was held in Winton in honor of this fine victory 
in the name of secession. 11 News went forward to Norfolk that the 
Yankees "were promptly repulsed and compelled to retire, their boats 
being in a damaged condition." 12 The Raleigh Register received a sim- 
ilar encouraging report, and Samuel Smith of Gates County, just across 
the Chowan from Winton, arrived in Suffolk next day to calm the fears 
of that anxious city. 13 

Meanwhile, the fleeing "Delaware" and "Perry" met the six other 
gunboats advancing up-river and Commander Rowan signalled for 
them to come around and follow him. Continuing some six or seven 
miles below Winton, the flotilla came to anchor for the night while the 
army and naval officers met aboard the Flagship "Delaware" to decide 
upon a course of action. Their decision was to return to Winton next 
morning and fight it out with the rebels. A member of the Ninth New 
York recalled later that: 

The guns were kept manned during the night, and we, of course, were 
ready. The wildest kind of conjectures prevailed as to the probable 
events of the morrow. Some said artillery as well as musketry had been 
used in the attack on the "Delaware," and that our landing would be 
desperately resisted ; but we had an excellent night's sleep, the better 
because all unnecessary noise was prohibited. 14 

At 6:32 a.m. the sun rose out of the swamp on the right bank, cast- 
ing its rays over a scene of vigorous activity. While still at anchor, the 
work-crews put up bulletproof casement around their ships, and quan- 
tities of cutlasses and navy revolvers were piled on deck for use by the 
crews if necessary. 15 Packets of oakum and kindling were distributed 

11 Johnson, The Long Roll, 104. This Zouave wrote, "There had been a 'ball' or 
something in the way of rejoicing the night before on account of our repulse. But 
it turned out anything but brilliantly, as the village was miserably burned and 
plundered." 

u The Daily Journal (Wilmington) , February 22, 1862, hereinafter cited The Daily 
Journal. 

M The Daily Journal, February 22, 1862. 

14 Johnson, The Long Roll, 104. 

56 Johnson, The Long Roll, 104. i 



The Burning of Winton in 1862 



25 



* 



w 




The Gunboat "Perry" 

to each man, to serve as incendiary material if any burning was need- 
ed. 16 Hammocks were lashed around the pilot houses and bags and 
mattresses were placed inside the bulwarks. 17 The "Delaware," despite 
her 185 bulletholes, gathered steam at last and at 8:00 a.m., under blue 
morning skies flaked with white clouds, the Union fleet weighed an- 
chor and moved once more upon Winton, just then rising from her first 
restful night in weeks. 

Many residents were still at breakfast when the news was brought 
in that the Federals, in flotilla strength, were returning rapidly up the 
river. Col. Williams, realizing that the small fire-power at his command 
could not deter a raid of these proportions, ordered his forces to the 
new breastworks at Mount Tabor Church, four miles out on the Mur- 
freesboro road at Potecasi Creek. 18 Shocked civilians snatched what- 
ever they could carry and rushed out of town along the wooded paths 

16 John H. E. Whitney, The Hawkins Zouaves: Their Battles and Marches (New 
York: Privately printed, 1866), 86. 

17 Quayie, "Remarks for February 20, 1862," Log of the "Whitehead." 

18 Semi-Weekly Raleigh Register, March 1, 1862. 



26 The North Carolina Historical Review 

through Folly Branch. Mrs. Anderson, loath to leave to the fortunes of 
war her rich estate, had to be placed bodily onto a cart, filled with val- 
uables, by her son and rushed out of danger to the Valentine planta- 
tion, two miles beyond Winton. Some of the fourteen Anderson ser- 
vants are said to have carried the piano to the woods and buried it, 
wrapped in quilts and blankets. Sgt. Watkins on a visit, according to 
tradition, with Miss Freeman that morning, ran outside to find that 
his compatriots had cut loose his mount, forcing him to make his own 
escape on foot. 19 A member of Nichols' artillery, named Moffat, was 
lost in the woods in the confusion and feared dead until he showed up 
later, tired but unharmed. 20 The last civilians had scarcely cleared the 
town when at 10:20 a.m. several of the Federal vessels began bom- 
barding the woods between Barfields and Winton. Only a few shells 
were expended before it became clear to Commander Rowan that his 
assault was not to be contested and the shelling was broken off. As the 
vessels came to anchor, some above, some below, and some abreast of 
the town, several small boats were loaded with members of the Haw- 
kins Zouaves, headed by Hawkins himself and Lt. Charles Williamson 
Flusser, skipper of the "Perry," who later would die a hero's death 
under the guns of the Ram "Albemarle." Charging past the ferryhouse 
and up the steep hill, the Zouaves ran into town to find it nearly de- 
serted, evidently abandoned in great haste to judge from the appear- 
ance of the streets and roads, which were strewn with knapsacks, arms, 
blankets, and similar things. Six companies of Union soldiers took pos- 
session of the village; observation parties were dispatched in several 
directions; and three boat howitzers were placed by Lt. Flusser in po- 
sition to command the main approaches to the town. 21 A few inhabi- 
tants of Winton were found to be left behind, including a Negro wom- 
an who was sick with a newborn child in a house by the river, an aged 
and wrinkled old woman, and several Negroes. 22 Col. Hawkins suc- 
ceeded in locating Martha Keen, the mulatto who had almost been his 
ruination on the previous afternoon, and questioned her closely as to 
her part in the ambush. The wily wife of a brickmason, her safety 
hinging on her reply, rose superbly to the occasion by explaining to a 
sympathetic Hawkins that she was the slave of one of the rebel officers 
and drawling out that "Dey said dat dey wan't going' to let anybody lib 

18 Louise Vann Boone, "Historical Review of Winton," in Roy J. Parker (ed.), The 
Ahoskie Era of Hertford County, 1889-1939 (Ahoskie: Parker Brothers, Inc. [Copy- 
right, 1939], 1956), 138. 

* Wilmington Journal, February 27, 1862. 

21 Official Records, Series I, IX, 195. 

22 George H. Allen, Forty-Six Months with the Fourth Rhode Island Volunteers, in 
the War of 1861-1865, Comprising a History of Its Marches and Battles and Camp 
Life (Providence, Rhode Island: J. A. and R. A. Reid, 1887), 86, hereinafter cited as 
Allen, The Fourth Rhode Island. 



The Burning of Winton in 1862 27 

at all, but was goin' to kill ebery one of 'em." (i.e., the Yankees), a bit 
of skulduggery that is preserved for posterity in Hawkins' official re- 
port. 23 While these few inhabitants were being transported out of dan- 
ger to the gunboats, Col. Hawkins made a personal inspection of the 
buildings in the main portion of town to determine which ones had been 
impressed into use by the troops of the Confederacy. Having found 
that nearly every structure appeared to have been used as quarters or 
storage by the military, the Union commander placed guards, as he 
claimed, in the buildings not indicating such use and proceeded to 
have his men apply the torch to all the rest. Tar barrels, of which large 
numbers stood in the storage area at the foot of Main Street, were roll- 
ed into the courthouse, a structure that had cost the county $30,000 
in 1853, burst in, and set ablaze. 24 Evidently, the destruction of the 
town was not accomplished with the dispatch and orderly efficiency 
which Hawkins intended, for several buildings which had not been 
destined for the flames, including the stately Anderson residence, 
were fired, and a general ransacking developed. 25 A soldier who 
stayed on his ship later remarked that "of course the boys found 
plenty of everything, and soon came flocking back to the boats load- 
ed with household goods, books, articles of food, and anything 
that suited their fancy." 26 Ladies' and childrens' clothing and 
bedclothes were carried off, while featherbeds were pulled into 
the streets, split open, searched for hidden valuables, and finally burn- 
ed. 27 Furniture was broken up; pigs and poultry slaughtered and car- 
ried away. While the contents of the post office were being rifled, the 
county records smoldered sadly to ashes in the vaults of the court- 
house. At the height of the conflagration, two men were discovered 
to be locked in jail and a sailor from the "Barney" mercifully chopped 
them free, whereupon they took to their heels as much from southern 
justice as from Union armies. 28 A storehouse of bacon, possibly the 
smokehouse of the Anderson household, went up in aromatic flames. 
Military stores consisting of powder, mess-pans, camp-kettles, corn- 
meal, flour, sugar, haversacks, and canteens, estimated by Hawkins to 
be worth "not less than $10,000" were also destroyed. 29 In addition to 
the Anderson home and buildings, the old Franklin Hotel building, 
the homes of Mrs. Halsey, Dr. Shield, and a man named Northcott, 

23 Official Records, Series I, IX, 196. 

24 Semi-Weekly Raleigh Register, March 1, 1862. 
26 Daily Express, March 7, 1862. 

26 Allen, The Fourth Rhode Island, 86. 
"Weekly Standard (Raleigh), March 12, 1862. 

28 Johnson, The Long Roll, 105. 

29 Official Records, Series I, IX, 195-196. 



28 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and Col. Jordan's hotel and buildings, were decimated. 30 Col. Hawkins 
kept his men on shore until the fire was well under way and then 
marched them back down to the wharf and the waiting boats. While 
the regiment was embarking, a certain Overton, having arrived in town 
to find his clothing stolen, had the pluck to go down and board one of 
the gunboats and demand the return of his possessions. The Wilming- 
ton Daily Journal, duly reporting the incident, explained that "A search 
was ostensibly made, when the clothes could not be found, whereupon 
the Yankee captain offered to remunerate poor Overton in money; the 
promise, however, has not been redeemed/' 31 Before leaving Winton, 
the Federals were informed that the railroad bridges over the Black- 
water and Nottoway rivers could not be approached, the Confederates 
having previously taken the precautions of sinking vessels and felling 
trees near the mouths of both rivers and running chains from bank to 
bank. 32 "So with a miserable village burned," as one Union chronicler 
ironically expressed it, "a couple of felons liberated from jail, and no 
particular harm done to an old lady, the fleet steamed down the Cho- 
wan again, quite bravely." 33 

While his foe was engaged in plundering Winton, Col. Williams had 
inexplicably concluded from the Yankee's failure to come out and meet 
him on his own terms at Mt. Tabor Church that his services were no 
longer required in eastern North Carolina. A charitable historian 
would conclude that he intended to cover the railroad bridges. At any 
rate, he led his battalion through Murfreesboro and was across the 
Virginia State line at Newsoms before General A. G. Blanchard could 
get word to him to return forthwith to Winton. Blanchard promptly 
received Williams' report of his movements but could find "no reason 
or excuse for his retreat." 34 Capt. Nichols was at the same time mov- 
ing his artillery rapidly in the direction of Suffolk, where he arrived 
on the night of February 21 to announce that his men had engaged 
4,000 of the enemy at Winton, killing several. 35 

Newspaper presses creaked into action, the Norfolk ( Va. ) Day Book 
of February 21 proclaiming the perpetration of a "vile incendiary" at 
Winton, a sentinent endorsed by the Hillsborough Recorder on March 
5th. 36 The New York Times gave prominent display to the affair on 
the front page of the February 25 issue but James Gordon Bennett, 

30 Semi-Weekly Raleigh Register, March 1, 1862. 

81 Wilmington Journal, February 27, 1862. 

82 Official Records, Series I, IX, 194. 

83 Johnson, The Long Roll, 105. 

84 Official Records, Series I, IX, 439. Williams' report was not found by the com- 
pilers of the Official Records. 

85 Daily Express, February 22, 1862. 

80 Hillsborough Recorder, March 5, 1862. 



The Burning of Winton in 1862 29 

fiery editor of the New York Herald, preferred to ascribe the "act of 
vandalism" to the Confederates themselves. 37 Newspaper reporters, of 
whom several accompanied the gunboats to Winton, were careful to 
put the Federal actions in a favorable light but the first hints of dis- 
credit were following apace. While rumors spread that the Zouaves 
had conducted themselves as barbarians at Winton, friends hastened 
to make assurance that the town had been burned only by order of 
the commander and that no soldier could be blamed for "plucking a 
few articles from a roaring conflagration," an interpretation coined by 
George Wilkes in his Wilkes' Spirit of the Times on March 8. 38 On Feb- 
ruary 22, two days before news of the Winton Expedition reached 
New York, Editor Wilkes had initiated a fund drive in that city to 
raise $1,000 to buy medals for the Zouaves in honor of their gallant 
charge at Roanoke Island. 39 His $50 was quickly raised to around $300 
by patriotic Gothamites but when the first ugly rumors arrived the 
contributions dramatically ceased. The influential Times on March 1 
passed along a charge that the fund was "premature," the Zouaves 
having "defied all restraint of their officers, and when they had strip- 
ped the peaceful inhabitants of their property, they fired the houses 
over their heads." 40 A few days later Wilkes turned over his embarrass- 
ing fund to Judge James R. Whiting. For the next fourteen months the 
money lay in Whiting's hands, growing no larger, while the Hawkins 
Zouaves established for themselves a creditable record in fighting on 
several fronts. Wilkes' paper sounded one more faint appeal in early 
May, 1863, when the Zouaves, their term of service ended, returned 
to New York to be mustered out of ranks. 41 At length, the original con- 
tributions were used to purchase a sword for Col. Hawkins, in appreci- 
ation for his brilliant services on behalf of the Union cause. 42 

The charges and countercharges in the newspapers were not reflect- 
ed at higher levels. General Burnside stood by the intrepid Colonel he 
had recently placed in command of Roanoke Island and reported to 
the Adjutant-General the helpful advice that "The winds shifting after 
the fire was started caused the destruction of some few houses not oc- 
cupied by the soldiers." 43 (An examination of the logs of the partici- 
pating gunboats would have shown that the winds were steady from 

87 New York Times, February 25, 1862, and the New York Herald, February 25, 
1862. 

88 Wilkes* Spirit of the Times (New York), March 8, 1862, hereinafter cited as 
Wilkes' Spirit of the Times. 

89 Wilkes* Spirit of the Times, February 22, 1862. 

40 New York Times, March 1, 1862. 

41 Wilkes* Spirit of the Times, May 9, 1863. 

42 New York Times, May 21, 1863. 

43 Official Records, Series I, IX, 194. 



30 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the west and southwest at two miles per hour.) 44 Col. Hawkins' own 
report made no mention of winds and admitted that this appeared to 
be "the first instance during the war . . . where fire has accompanied 
the sword," seeking to justify the action by alluding to the attempted 
ambush and by the use of the town as quarters for rebel troops. 45 The 
War Department reviewed these reports for several days and conclud- 
ed that the action was in order. 46 

Early southern newspaper accounts told of the Confederates at Win- 
ton having killed as many as twenty-seven of the enemy aboard the 
gunboats, including "a man dressed in the uniform of a major; he was 
in the rigging of the gunboat, making observations at the time of being 
shot; if not fatally wounded by the shot he must have been killed by 
the fall." 47 Col. Hawkins himself was of the opinion that it was "one 
of the everyday miracles of war" that he had escaped injury in his pell- 
mell descent. 48 Other newspaper reports passed along a rumor that 
"humbug C. H. Foster" was among those killed on board the Federal 
vessels. 49 Charles Henry Foster was a former newspaper editor from 
Murfreesboro, North Carolina, who had been run out of that tov/n for 
his Union sympathies the year before and who at the time of the Win- 
ton expedition was at Cape Hatteras preparing one of his four unsuc- 
cessful efforts to persuade the United States Congress to seat him as 
representative from the First or Second District. 50 Seventeen months 
later he was to show up in Murfreesboro in the company of a Federal 
raiding party to witness the destruction, among other things, of the 
grist mill of Perry Carter, his own father-in-law. 51 

Lt. Col. Williams, a pall cast over his reputation by the affair at Win- 
ton, remained in the army until the summer of 1863 at which time he 
resigned. Major Edmund C. Brabble had already been elevated over 
Williams to command the battalion and had been given a full colonel- 
cy. 52 Rush Hawkins survived to acquire a reputation as one of the most 
daring and insubordinate officers in the Union Army. Twice thrown 
into prison for his unmilitary individualism, Hawkins outlasted all his 
trials to become a general soon after the war. He was run down by an 



"The log of the "Hunchback" states that the wind was WSW to 2MPH; the log 
of the "Delaware" makes it W at 2MPH; the "Commodore Perry" reports it SW at 
2MPH; "Whitehead" says it was WSW at 2MPH. 

* Official Records, Series I, IX, 196. 

49 Official Records, Series I, IX, 368. 

4,1 Semi-Weekly Raleigh Register, March 1, 1862. 

48 Hawkins, "Coast Operations in North Carolina," 647. 

** Hillsborough Recorder, March 5, 1862. 

50 Report on the Memorial of Charles Henry Foster, House Report 118 (Committee of 
Elections), Thirty-seventh Congress, Second Session, 1862. 

61 Weekly State Journal (Raleigh), August 12, 1863. 

52 John Wheeler Moore, Roster of North Carolina Troops in the War Between the 
States (Raleigh: Ashe and Gatling, 4 volumes, 1882), II, 570. 



The Burning of Winton in 1862 31 

automobile in New York in 1920 at the age of 89, having accumulated 
a fortune of $800,000 which he bequeathed, with characteristic eccen- 
tricity, largely to the S.P.C.A. 53 

When her fatal hour had passed, Winton lay a smoking ruin, only 
the Methodist Church and one or two other structures, possibly in- 
cluding Hyram Freeman's home, having withstood the calamity. 54 A 
visitor to the town in 1864 remarked that he found "nothing but here 
and there a wall, a chimney, or foundation wall standing." 55 A corres- 
pondent who signed his name "Revoir" wrote on March 2, 1862, to the 
Petersburg Express that "the ladies [of Murfreesboro] nearly all evacu- 
ated town after they had sent off their valuables, the merchants spirited 
away their goods, and thus our once lively town became a very deso- 
late place." 56 A few days after the burning of Winton, Col. Williams' 
battalion made its belated appearance and the Twenty-fourth North 
Carolina Regiment pitched camp in Murfreesboro, made a show of 
force, and eased the panic of the remaining inhabitants. 57 Yet the char- 
acter of the military situation in this area was correctly forecast for 
the remainder of the war by the raid upon Winton. Federal gunboats 
roved the Chowan virtually at will during the following three and a 
half years and frequent raids, coupled with the depredations of the 
"buffaloes," caused once-flourishing farms to grow up in weeds and 
brambles and suspended most of the normal activities of the business 
and social life of Hertford and neighboring counties. After the war, 
Winton rose slowly again from the ashes and continued to function as 
Hertford's county seat, though she never afterward could boast of the 
prosperity of ante-bellum days. A historical marker in front of the 
courthouse is the single evidence today of Winton's sacrifice to the 
gods of war. 

53 New York Times, November 18, 1920. 

54 (Anon.), "Destruction of Winton, N. C," Frank Moore (ed.), The Rebellion 
Record: A Diary of American Events . . . (New York: 11 volumes, G. P. Putnam, 
1861-1863; D. Van Nostrand, 1864-1868), IV, 196. 

55 John Mullen Batten, Two Years in the United States Navy (Lancaster, Penna.: 
Inquirer Printing and Publishing Company, 1881), 32. 

56 Daily Express, March 5, 1862. 

57 See report of Col. William J. Clarke, Official Records, Series I, IX, 439-440. 



THE ROMANCE OF WOODROW WILSON 
AND ELLEN AXSON 

By George Osborn* 

In north Georgia in mid-April the peachblossoms give off their 
pleasing fragrance, pearblossoms larger than those of the peach entice 
bees with their sweet aroma, appleblossoms are in their fullest stage, 
and dogwood trees stand in woodlands, and along the banks of streams 
like silent ghosts in their white-crossed blossoms. Yellow jonquils and 
daffodils, mallow violets and dainty forget-me-nots— all these— give of 
themselves to make north Georgia a land of enchantment during the 
month of April. It was during just such a season, 1883, that a tall young 
man, "with a silky moustache and short side-whiskers," went from At- 
lanta northward some seventy miles to Rome. This young man, Wood- 
row Wilson, was the younger member of the law firm of Renick and 
Wilson of Atlanta. He carried himself with a definite dignity and an 
obvious assurance which certainly were not justified by any prominent 
position of legal leadership at the Georgia bar. In fact, this youthful 
barrister, after striving at law for nearly a year and hardly earning his 
salt, was giving up in defeat. 

Wilson went to Rome to confer with an uncle, James W. Bones, 
about some legal matters pertaining to his mother's business. It was 
delightful to be in the home of the family of relatives. Although legal 
business for his mother, who incidentally was her son's chief client, 
brought Woodrow to Rome, he was in the frame of mind for fun while 
visiting among his kinsmen. Several times during the late 1870's, while 
a student at Princeton College, Tommy, as Wilson was called by his 
relatives and close chums during his youth, had visited in Rome in the 
home of his Aunt Marian W. Bones. In many instances, he was renew- 
ing acquaintances among the friends of his relatives. Among the friends 
of young Wilson's Cousin Jessie Bones, who recently had married 
A. T. H. Brower, and who lived in another part of Rome, was Ellen 
Louise Axson. 



* Dr. George Osborn is Professor of History and Social Sciences, University of 
Florida, Gainesville. 



Woodrow Wilson and Ellen Axson 33 

Ellen Axson, like Wilson, was a product of a Presbyterian manse. 
Ellen's father, the Reverend Edward Axson, began a pastorate of the 
First Presbyterian Church at Rome when only thirty years of age. By 
the spring of 1883, he had lived in Rome for sixteen years. 1 Some two 
years earlier, his wife Margaret, had died from complications which 
followed the birth of her fourth child. 2 Ellen, the oldest of the four 
children, was mistress of her father's household. 

Now nearing her twenty-third birthday, Ellen Axson's hair was a 
golden bronze. She usually wore it parted in the middle, softly waved 
at the sides, and hanging in shoulder-length curls at the back. Large, 
deep-brown eyes looked straight at one from beneath wide, heavy 
eyebrows. Her nose was well-shaped; her rather thin lips formed a 
somewhat wide mouth. Rounded, full cheeks beckoned one's gaze 
towards slightly oversized ears which frequently were almost encircled 
by golden wavy hair done in miniature curls. 3 With flower-like appear- 
ance, intelligent, demure Ellen must have been very attractive in April, 
1883, when Woodrow Wilson first took note of her. 

On Sunday morning Wilson accompanied his Aunt Marian, his 
Uncle James Bones, and his Cousin Helen Bones to the First Presby- 
terian Church in which James Bones was an elder and of which the 
Reverend Edward Axson was pastor. Located just off Rome's wide 
main street, the church stood among stately oak trees and large ante- 
bellum homes. The edifice was a dignified old building of red brick, 
constructed in the accepted style of southern church architecture. 4 It 
was on that morning, at some time during the service, that Wilson, as 
he later wrote to Ellen, "saw your face to note it. . . . You wore a heavy 
crepe veil and I remember thinking what a bright, pretty face; what 
splendid, mischievous, laughing eyes! I'll lay a wager that this little 
lady has lots of life and fun in her!' " After the service, a communion 
service, as Wilson remembered it, Ellen as she was leaving the church, 
spoke to a number of people including Mrs. Bones. At that moment, 
the slender Wilson, "with the silky moustache and short side- whiskers," 
took another good look at the minister's daughter and apparently con- 
cluded that it would be a very clever plan to inquire her name and to 
seek an introduction. 



1 Memorandum, Ray Stannard Baker Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, 
hereinafter cited as Baker Papers. 

2 Ellen Axson was born May 15, 1860, Stockton in 1867, Edward in 1876, and 
Margaret in 1881. Upon the mother's death, the baby, Margaret, was taken into the 
family of Aunt Louisa of Gainesville, Georgia. 

3 See picture of Ellen Axson taken in 1883, reproduced in Ray S. Baker, Woodrow 
Wilson: Life and Letters (Garden City, New York: 8 volumes, 1927-1939), I, 160. This 
reference will hereinafter be cited as Baker, Woodrow Wilson. 

* Memorandum, Baker Papers. 



34 The North Carolina Historical Review 

When the youthful Woodrow learned, doubtless from his hostess, 
that the attractive girl, with the mischievous, laughing eyes, was El- 
len Louise ( often shortened to Ellie Lou ) Axson of whom he had heard 
so frequently in such glowing language, he made a resolution to meet 
her. Within the next day or so he took an early opportunity of calling 
on the Reverend Mr. Axson at the Manse. Vividly, Wilson recalled 
the meeting: "That dear gentleman," he informed Ellen, "received me 
with unsuspecting cordiality and sat down to entertain me under the 
impression that I had come to see only him. I had gone to see him, for 
I love and respect him and would have gone to see him with alacrity if 
he had never had a daughter; but I had not gone to see him alone." 
The truth of the matter was that ever since Wilson had taken note of 
Ellen's face, though heavily veiled, he could not remove it from his 
mind. He "wanted very much to see it again," so he asked rather point- 
edly of the preacher about his daughter's health. The minister, in ap- 
parent surprise, got up, walked out of the room into another part of the 
Manse, and summoned Ellen to the parlor. 

Within the next few days Woodrow sought diligently to make en- 
gagements with Ellen. There were buggy rides along the picturesque, 
meandering country roads that led to Rome. Afternoons were spent 
in long walks northward along the shaded banks of the Oostanaula 
River near its confluence with the Etowah to form the Coosa River. 
Boat rides furnished a romantic setting for their conversations as they 
became acquainted. 

Immediately Mrs. Jessie Brower became aware of Woodrow's de- 
termination to see Ellen daily and she, hoping to do her cousin from 
Atlanta a good turn, arranged a picnic. It was held near a spring east 
of Lindale. The distance, eight or nine miles, was covered in two rigs. 
"The more attractive of the two for the young folks was Colonel Brow- 
er's wagon with side seats, in the body of which plenty of wheat straw 
had been piled." Naturally, perhaps, Woodrow and Ellen, the honor- 
ed ones for the occasion, chose to sit on the straw in the back of the 
wagon so that they could dangle their feet as they went merrily along 
the winding dirt road. "After bumping along country roads for an 
hour and a half," they arrived jolted but gay at the spring where the 
picnic was to be held. Shortly, lunchtime came. Heavily laden baskets 
awaited them. Everyone, except two, had been playing vigorous 
games, or wading in the nearby brook. The missing two, who were 
rapidly falling in love, were industriously searching for four-leaf clov- 
ers on the pasture greensward, playing "Love me; love me not" with 
flower petals and blowing the downy tops off dandelion stems. 



Woodrow Wilson and Ellen Axson 35 

"I wonder where Ellie Lou and Woodrow can be?" asked Mrs. 
Brower, as if aware of nothing. 

"I know," piped one of the children; he's over there cutting a heart 
on a beech tree!" 5 When summoned by an obliging child, Ellen and 
Woodrow came. When told of Mrs. Brower's question and the quick 
retort, one can easily imagine that a Georgia belle blushed and a tall 
young Virginian laughed heartily as he stole side-glances at the latest 
object of his affection. 

And so it was "a fast and furious courtship." The Presbyterian clergy- 
man's son daily sought to woo the Presbyterian preacher's daughter. 
"Certainly he set to the task of making love to Ellen Axson, according 
to the Roman legend, in a business-like way." Woodrow might even 
be called red-blooded in this enterprise. A youth of exceptional cul- 
ture, he was as "wise as the canny Scotch blood of him would make 
him. And with wisdom, he had charm; the bit of the Blarney Stone 
was on his tongue. And to top it all, he was handsome— tall, straight, 
agile, and flaxen fair; with his father's merry eye and his mother's gen- 
tle voice, both speaking in the persuasive fashion of the Celt when he 
had his say." 6 What young lady could resist such charm, such culture, 
such Celtic persuasion when flames of romance burned brightly? 

If Woodrow spent his youthful years in a manse surrounded by 
books and religion, so did Ellen. If he had high ideas and noble aspira- 
tions, so did she. Woodrow's education was more formal than Ellen's 
but her intellectual interests were not narrowed by specialization as 
were his. Consequently, Ellen acquainted Woodrow with the literary 
world of William Wordsworth, or the exquisite imagery of Sidney La- 
nier's poetry, or the love sonnets of Robert and Elizabeth Browning. 
Moreover, gifted with an unusual artistic talent, Ellen introduced 
Woodrow to the world of art in which he had made no previous ac- 
quaintance. 

In the meantime, Wilson withdrew to Atlanta to resign from the 
law firm of which he was a member. By the middle of June he had tak- 
en down his professional shingle, had disposed of his share of the 
meager office equipment, had snipped his books and bookcase to Wil- 
mington, North Carolina, where his father, Dr. Joseph Wilson, was 
pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, and had said good-by to his 
friends. Woodrow did not go immediately to Wilmington but spent the 

6 George M. Battey, A History of Rome and Floyd County, 15U0-1922 (Atlanta, 
Georgia: 1922), 290 ff. 

6 William Allen White, Woodrow Wilson: The Man, His Times, and His Task (Boston 
and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1924), 97, hereinafter cited as White, 
Woodrow Wilson. 



36 The North Carolina Historical Review 

latter half of June in Rome with his relatives and in the company of El- 
len Axson. 

Wilson decided upon a persistent courtship. A young man of quick 
decisions, he moved swiftly to carry out those decisions. To one of his 
dearest chums, Woodrow, with disarming frankness, wrote: "You will 
smile to learn I . . . am falling in love with a charming brown-eyed 
lassie who is attractive not only because of her unusual beauty, but 
also because of her unusual accomplishments. She belongs to that class 
which has contributed so much both to the literature and to the pleas- 
ures of social life. She is a clergyman's daughter. The conditions of 
her life and her natural inclination have led her into extensive reading 
of the best sort, and the dear lassie has become learned without know- 
ing it, and without losing one particle of freshness or natural feminine 
charm. But I can't describe her. If Fortune favors me, you shall know 
her some day and find her out for yourself for I've made up my mind to 
win her if I can." 7 

In August Wilson escorted his mother, who only recently had been 
desperately ill with typhoid fever, and his sister Anne to North Caro- 
lina. 8 While these three members of the Wilson family were at Arden 
Park, Arden, North Carolina, Ellen Axson visited them. Immediately, 
she endeared herself to Woodrow's sister and mother as she had to 
him. To the mother, Ellen seemed "so sweet, so bright and intelligent— 
that it was impossible not to love her." 9 

Shortly, Ellen went to visit other friends vacationing in the nearby 
mountains, and Woodrow departed for Wilmington to get ready to go 
to Baltimore, where he was to enter the Graduate School of The Johns 
Hopkins University. Stopping off in Asheville, North Carolina, Wilson 
was strolling up the street when he noted a girl silhouetted against a 
window in a nearby hotel. Recognizing instantly the peculiar braid of 
her hat, he sprang up the steps to meet her. Ellen had been summoned 
home by the serious illness of her father. She had gone to Asheville to 
catch a train, had to wait several hours, and was whiling away the 
time by reading a book. With Ellen's train due to arrive shortly, Wood- 
row lost not a moment in pressing his affections. Only five months had 
elapsed since that afternoon when Woodrow asked, rather pointedly 
of the Reverend Axson, about the health of his daughter. "It needed just 

7 Woodrow Wilson to Robert Bridges, July 26, 1883, Karl A. Meyer Collection of 
the Correspondence of Woodrow Wilson and Robert Bridges, Library of Congress, 
hereinafter cited as Meyer Collection. 

8 Wilson to Bridges, August 10, September 12, 1883, Meyer Collection. 

6 Mother (Jessie Woodrow Wilson) to Wilson, September 19, 1883, Woodrow Wilson 
Papers, Library of Congress, hereinafter cited as Wilson Papers. 



Woodrow Wilson and Ellen Axson 37 

the unexpected encounter in the North Carolina mountains to show 
them what life meant for each and for both of them." 10 

Ellen rushed home to her ailing father. On the evening of her arri- 
val she made her father comfortable and when he had fallen asleep, 
Ellen joined her younger brother, Stockton, in the small sitting room 
of the Manse. With flushed face and bright eyes, she spoke softly. "Can 
you keep a secret?" Upon his assurance that he could, she confided to 
him the joyful news of her engagement to be married. "He is the great- 
est man in the world and the best," Stockton remembered being told 
by his happy sister. 11 To Anna Harris, a long-time friend, Ellen wrote 
that she accepted Woodrow knowing that she "was willing to be his 
wife some time'' 12 

After his arrival in Wilmington, Woodrow penned a note to his 
mother and told her of his happiness. 13 Although "very, very glad to 
hear the good news," the mother replied, "I was not very much surpris- 
ed for I thought I could discover that she cared for you when she was 
here . . . and now that she is my precious boy's promised wife, I shall 
love her very dearly." In thinking of Woodrow's entrance into the 
Graduate School at The Johns Hopkins University in the near future, 
his mother added: "And now that your heart is at rest you will be able 
to give yourself to the work before you with all of your heart— and I 
have no fear for the result." 14 

To Heath Dabney, a fraternity brother and dear friend at the Uni- 
versity of Virginia, Woodrow explained his emotional reactions: "I'm 
bagged! Indeed, having been engaged already five months, I am begin- 
ning to feel quite staid and settled! It is wonderful how literally exact 
the saying is that one falls in love. I met a certain Miss Ellen Louise 
Axson in Rome, Georgia, in April, 1883, and by the middle of the fol- 
lowing September I was engaged to her! That's decisive enough action 
for you! Of course, it goes without the saying that I am the most com- 
placently happy man in the 'Yew Nighted States/ If you care to listen 
a moment, I will tell you what the unfortunate lady is like. She . . . grew 
up in that best of all schools— for manners, purity and cultivation— a 
country parsonage. She has devoted the greater part of her time to 
art— having relieved her father's slender salary of the burden of her own 
support by portrait drawing and painting which have given her quite 

10 Stockton Axson, "The Private Life of Woodrow Wilson," New York Times Mag- 
azine, October 8, 1916, hereinafter cited as Axson, "Private Life of Wilson." 

u Axson, "Private Life of Wilson." The date of the engagement was September 16, 
1883. 

12 Ellen Axson to Anna Harris, March 8, 1885, Ellen Axson — Anna Harris Corres- 
pondence, Princeton University Library, Princeton, New Jersey, hereinafter cited as 
Axson-Harris Correspondence. 

"Apparently this letter was lost but the date must have been September 17, 1883. 

14 Jessie W. Wilson to Wilson, September 19, 1883, Wilson Papers. 



38 The North Carolina Historical Review 

a reputation among the best people of Georgia— but she is also devoted 
to reading of the best sort, so that, without any pretense to learning 
and without the slightest tinge of pedantry she has acquired a very re- 
markable acquaintance with the best literature. If you add to this the 
fact that she is, in her tastes, the most domestic of maidens, you will 
see how well fitted she is to become a student's wife." 15 

Not even to his dearest friend at Charlottesville could the serenely 
happy Wilson claim that he had the wisdom to fall in love with Ellen 
because he was justified "after a philosophical and dispassionate con- 
sideration of her taste and attainments, in concluding that she would 
be a proper help-meet for a professor." Quite the contrary, Tommy 
wrote: "I fell in love with her . . . because she was irresistibly lovable. 
But why did Ellen fall in love with him? Let Woodrow answer: "Why 
she fell in love with me must always remain an impenetrable mystery. 
I look upon my wonderful success as one of those apparently fortuitous 
and certainly inestimable blessings which one must content himself 
with being thankful for and trying to deserve ex post facto, as it were, 
without seeking to understand it— as something sent to strengthen and 
ennoble me." 16 Never did Woodrow deviate from his complete faith 
that Ellen's love was something sent to strengthen and ennoble him. 
It was a chivalrous southern gentleman's idealization of the lady he 
loved, and she reciprocated his innermost affection. 

Immediate marriage was out of the question. The plans for more 
formal education which Woodrow had made must be carried out as 
pre-arranged. But now the young Wilson, having won the heart of the 
lady of his affections, was a different student from the one who, four 
years earlier, had entered the law school at the University of Virginia. 
Gone was any doubt of failure in the adventure of romantic pursuit. 
As Tommy's mother, with full understanding, had written him, his 
heart was completely at ease and he could apply himself without emo- 
tional obstacles or mental obstructions to his work. 

Apparently, from the day Ellen accepted Woodrow's proposal, he 
resolved to relate to her the emotional feelings of his heart, the deepest 
thoughts of his mind. From the environs of The Johns Hopkins Univer- 
sity campus, he confessed to Ellen that he was a proud and wilful man 
beyond all measure; that he used to think, as did many other young 
men, that he would never pay any homage, except that which came 
entirely voluntarily, to any woman. Now, however, he realized how 
utterly foolish such thoughts were. He had even dared to think he 

15 Wilson to Robert Heath Dabney, February 17, 1884, Robert Heath Dabney Papers, 
Alderman Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, hereinafter cited as Dabney 
Papers. 

18 Wilson to Dabney, February 17, 1884, Dabney Papers. 



Woodrow Wilson and Ellen Axson 39 

might be able to live happily with a wife "as a leisure-moment compan- 
ion, dispensing with intellectual sympathy." He knew that he wanted 
such sympathy; indeed, there would always be a dismal, dreary side 
of his life without it. Did he deep down somewhere have a mental res- 
servation that women, generally speaking, were unable, mentally or 
emotionally, to extend such sympathy or that his wife would be intellec- 
tually his inferior? If Woodrow ever held such thoughts he now knew 
they were erroneous. Now he believed "it would be unreasonable to 
expect" his wife to go with him, "even in spirit, into all the so-esteemed 
dry paths" into which his graduate studies in economics, history, and 
political science were inevitably compelling him. 17 

Ellen herself had tactfully sown the seed that bore fruit in Wood- 
row's opinion about his future wife's intellectual sympathy with the 
dry paths of his continued studies. It was probably during Ellen's visit 
with Woodrow, his mother and his sister that, as he and Ellen were 
returning from a "certain walk up a hill," she discussed at some length 
the character of Lydgate's Middlemarch. Not having read the play, 
Woodrow interrupted with an occasional question which she answered 
with impressive understanding. Not only was he impressed with El- 
len's explanation of the plot of the drama but from that conversation 
he made a discovery that, he remembered, thrilled him. In Woodrow's 
own words the discovery was that Ellen "knew what sort of wife I 
needed— though you were not applying the moral to my case, and did 
not know how directly the story came home to my experience." 18 

Wilson did not intend, he said, to place himself in a class with Lyd- 
gate. With modesty, he stated that he had not given proof of any un- 
usual talents. Moreover, he could not, in truth, claim that he was an 
exception intellectually, until he rid himself of all discursive habits and 
focused what mental faculties he possessed into concentrated efforts 
towards goals worthy of attainment. Having contrasted himself with 
Lydgate, Woodrow, with confidence, pointed out the "very distinct 
parallel between Lydgate's aspirations" and his own, between the con- 
ditions of home life "necessary to my ultimate success and those which 
might have ensured his." Wilson did not believe that any man who 
had a heart molded for domestic relations, as he did, and who was not 
"merely a student, simply a thinking machine, could wish to marry a 
woman— who expels sentiment from life." John Stuart Mill, the brilliant 
English thinker and writer, bragged that his wife knew as much as he 
about matters of his professional study and that she gave him expert 

17 Wilson to Ellen Axson, October 18, 1883, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 165-166. Only 
Baker, Wilson's official biographer, has seen the Wilson-Axson letters. All quotations 
from these letters will be from Baker, Woodrow Wilson (see note 3, above). 

^Wilson to Ellen Axson, October 18, 1883, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 165-166. 



40 The North Carolina Historical Review 

opinions and thus encouraged his logical faculties. This was not for 
Wilson, he confided to Ellen. He wanted a wife to administer to his 
compelling need for love. 19 

Having assured Ellen of his complete emotional satisfaction in their 
pledged agreement for their future together, Woodrow took his wife- 
to-be into his confidence in regard to his own reading habits. Never 
a widely read person, Wilson was aware of his narrow intellectual 
horizon and explained his reasons for retaining it. "The man who reads 
everything," he informed Ellen, "is like the man who eats everything: 
he can digest nothing; and the penalty for cramming one's mind with 
other men's thoughts is to have no thoughts of one's own." Only that 
which was valuable in aiding one to do his own thinking, Wilson con- 
tended, should be permitted. That other men had formed habits of 
restrictive reading was one explanation of history's revealing "so many 
great thinkers and great leaders who did little reading of books— if 
you reckon reading by volumes— but much reading of men and of their 
own times." 20 

Ellen appreciably broadened Wilson's horizons in literature, in art, 
and in architecture. Frequently, she received from her "passionate 
lover," as Ellen confidentially began to refer to Woodrow, tokens of 
his increasing interest in the fields of knowledge in which she was 
most conversant. Once Wilson sent her a "clumsy volume" of John Rus- 
kin and commented that he read only enough of the Englishman to 
realize the fascination of his wonderful prose. These two southern 
lovers agreed that Ruskin possessed greater gentleness and tolerance 
in his later judgments. As Wilson put it, age mellowed Ruskin— "made 
him broader and more catholic in his sympathies." 21 Woodrow copied 
a few passages from Swinburne's "Tristram of Lyoness" for Ellen to 
enjoy with him. 22 Ellen was advised to read Harnerton's Intellectual 
Life, and she learned of Wilson's fascination for Augustine BirrelFs 
Obiter Dicta and of his enthusiasm for Richard Doddridge Blackmore's 
Lorna Doone. Wilson never shared Ellen's great enthusiasm for Robert 
Browning and he denounced Matthew Arnold's literary and theological 
criticism. 23 



19 Wilson to Ellen Axson, October 18, 1883, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 165-166. 

20 Wilson to Ellen Axson, April 22, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 201-202. This 
letter is also found in Donald Day (ed.), Woodrow Wilson's Own Story (Boston, Mas- 
sachusetts: Little, Brown and Company, 1952), 25, hereinafter cited as Day, Woodrow 
Wilson's Own Story. 

21 Wilson to Ellen Axson, March 11, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 201. 

22 Wilson to Ellen Axson, April 22, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 201-202. 

83 Wilson to Ellen Axson, November 22, 1884, and January 10, 1885, Baker, Woodrow 
Wilson, I, 202-203. 



Woodrow Wilson and Ellen Axson 41 

Ellen Axson brought to Woodrow Wilson her experiences of wide 
reading, her taste for poetry, and her enthusiasm for fiction. The two 
of them began months before they were married to supplement each 
other's reading. As Wilson put it: "We will purvey for each other in 
separate literary fields." He had thought through "several very simple, 
feasible and delightful plans" by which she could give to him "the best 
possible aid merely by doing, as my proxy and for my benefit ( you see 
how selfish I am! ), such reading as you delight in doing." Time would 
not permit him to read many things which he really wanted to know 
about; he must labor unceasingly in one or two rigid fields of special- 
ization. Ellen could ascertain for him what was going on in the world 
of literature and what subjects were currently being discussed in the 
periodicals. Having gathered this information, she could recite to him 
the plots and read to him "the choice parts of the best novels of the 
day, and fill my too prosy brain with the sweetest words of the poets; 
can, in short, keep mind from dry rot by exposing it to an atmosphere 
of fact and entertainment and imaginative suggestion." 24 

When Woodrow fell in love with Ellen he had no interest whatever 
in art and his knowledge of architecture was negligible. Within a short 
time after their engagement, Wilson began to show a neophyte's in- 
terest in art. On occasion he visited art galleries and looked into some 
of the books on art. Early in December, 1883, he went to see a collec- 
tion of Whistler's etchings and wrote Ellen in detail of his reactions 
which, by no means, were enthusiastic. As he entered Peabody Library 
in Baltimore where the collection was on display he was "constrained 
by a handsome young woman to buy a catalogue which I did not want. 
I set myself to as critical an examination of Mr. Whistler's productions 
as my ignorance of artistic canons would allow. Well, I must confess 
that, in my unenlightened soul, I was disgusted, and more than ever 
indifferent to the possession of the catalogue, except that it was much 
more interesting as a curiosity than the etchings are as pictures." Some 
of Whistler's critics, wrote Wilson, objected to the artist's later pro- 
ductions on the basis that they were mere suggestions. He thought the 
critics would have been more truthful if they had denounced the 
paintings as suggesting nothing— "a few lines, a possible face, a con- 
jectural group, a hazy beginning of something— one cannot tell cer- 
tainly what the picture might have been, had it been completed; 
though here and there one does find a sketch suggestive of life and 
beauty." 25 Although Wilson never became an enthusiastic devotee, 
he did develop into a passive admirer of art. 

84 Wilson to Ellen Axson, January 23, 1885, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 204. 

25 Wilson to Ellen Axson, December 18, 1883, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 204-205. 



42 The North Carolina Historical Review 

In the fall of 1884, when Ellen went to New York to study at the 
Art Students' League, Woodrow confessed his own ignorance as he 
wrote encouragingly to her: "I have the sincerest sympathy with your 
present studies," he wrote, "and for various reasons. First and fore- 
most, of course, because they are yours; but scarcely less," he admitted, 
"because I have always had, and been conscious of having a great 
store of potential enthusiasms for just such occupations and accom- 
plishments." Never had he suspected himself of possessing artistic 
talents, but he had always known himself "capable of entering into 
the artists's feeling and of understanding his delights." As between 
artistic creation and poetic creation, he had "always reverenced the 
power of artistic creation above the power of poetic creation." More- 
over, Wilson visualized a kinship of creativeness between the artist 
and the orator. "I suppose that it would be idle for me to hope ever 
to be an orator if I did not have these artistic sympathies." In fact, 
one of his few grave misfortunes was that he had known least of the 
two things that moved him most deeply— painting and poetry. "My 
sensibilities in those directions," he concluded, "seem to me like a 
musical instrument seldom touched, like a harp disused." 26 

If Ellen created in Woodrow a respect for art, if she won from him 
attention to the reading of poetry, if she conveyed to him much of 
literature, if she informed him of current discussions in magazines, 
certainly Woodrow confirmed Ellen's religious faith. Ellen could, and 
did, pore over the writings of philosophers like Immanuel Kant, and 
works which dealt with the conflict between religion and science. The 
reading of such authors sometimes pulled at the anchor of Ellen's re- 
ligious faith. Although she, as Woodrow, was the product of a Pres- 
byterian manse, for Woodrow there was never any doubt about his 
faith, nor would he ever argue religion. He knew that he was among 
the Calvinistic elect and that his future, whatever it might be, was 
predestined. In this belief he was as steadfast as an Old Testament 
prophet. 

At times, however, Wilson, in writing to Ellen about his attendance 
at religious services, veered greatly from the stern theological termi- 
nology used by John Calvin: "I recently made a great 'find,'" he once 
wrote, "namely a Presbyterian Church where there is first-rate preach- 
ing—first rate by the Baltimore standard, which is not very high or 
exacting— and plenty of pretty girls." He was a regular attendant at 
its services. Seldom did one find attractive orthodoxy in a Presbyterian 
pulpit and beauty in the pews, so that he added, "I am specifically 

26 Wilson to Ellen Axson, November 23, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 205-206, 



Woodrow Wilson and Ellen Axson 43 

gratified because of this discovery." There was for Woodrow a decided 
advantage in having a strict training in the Calvinistic doctrine. "No 
amount of beauty," he continued, "in the damsels of an Episcopalian 
or Methodist or Baptist Church could have led me off; but beauty in 
ones own church may be admired weekly with a conscience void of 
offense." Apparently, nothing could shake Woodrow from complete 
loyalty to his Presbyterian faith. Indeed, he boastfully informed Ellen 
that his orthodox faith had successfully stood another test recently. 
Extended a cordial invitation to sing in the "finest choir in town," he 
declined because "it was a Methodist choir." The controlling motive, 
as he himself stated to Ellen, was the question of religious doctrine. 27 

No one could be close to Woodrow Wilson very long without learn- 
ing of his vaulting ambition. Ellen Axson, and naturally so, was Wil- 
son's complete confidant about his professional ambition. Within weeks 
after their engagement Woodrow was making Ellen acquainted with 
his aspirations for the future. "I want to contribute to our literature," 
he wrote shortly after he entered the graduate school at Johns Hop- 
kins, "what no American has ever contributed, studies in the philosophy 
of our institutions, not the abstract and occult, but the practical and 
suggestive, philosophy which is at the core of our governmental meth- 
ods; their use, their meaning, 'the spirit that makes them workable.' I 
want to divest them of the theory that obscures them and present their 
weakness and their strength without disguise, and with such skill and 
such plentitude of proof that it shall be seen that I have succeeded 
and that I have added something to the resources of knowledge upon 
which statecraft must depend." 28 

Such an ambition as that, obviously, must go unfulfilled in the life 
of a barrister. Indeed, the studies of history and political science for 
which Woodrow, "both by nature and by acquired habit," was best 
fitted could not be pursued in the lawyer's office. Consequently, he 
was forced, in justice to himself, to find a vocation which best suited 
his talents and his ambition. "A professorship," he concluded, "was the 
only feasible place for me, the only place that would afford leisure for 
reading and for original work, the only strictly literary berth with an 
income attached." 29 If Woodrow were thinking in terms of an en- 
dowed chair they were scarce and hard to secure. He thought that the 
time required for him to rise to a professorship would not be longer 
than the time required for him to achieve competence at the bar. 

27 Wilson to Ellen Axson, March 23, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 209. 

^Wilson to Ellen Axson, October 30, 1883, Day, Woodrow Wilson's Own Story, 22. 

29 Wilson to Ellen Axson, October 30, 1883, Day, Woodrow Wilson's Own Story, 22; 
Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 170-171. These two books, while supposedly quoting the 
same letter, do not always tally accurately. 



44 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Moreover, he realized that pedagogues, as a rule, did not participate 
actively in politics but the holding of public office had now become 
a nonessential part of his political program. As he wrote Ellen, he 
realized, and correctly so, that a man without an independent fortune 
"must in any event content himself with becoming an outside force in 
politics." With this reality before him, he would be satisfied with the 
prospect of exerting whatever political influence he could "through 
literary and non-partisan agencies." 30 

Learning to write with dynamic power in the political realm was 
one of the main reasons why Wilson, after failing as a lawyer, returned 
to his formal education. With utter frankness he confessed to Ellen that 
he came to the university at Baltimore "to get a special training in his- 
torical research and an insight into the most modern literary and poli- 
tical thoughts and methods." He hoped to become "an invigorating 
and enlightening power in the world of political thought and a master 
in some of the less serious branches of literary art." 31 

As a graduate student, Woodrow encountered many things that 
were new to him. To some of them he objected, perhaps not vigorously 
on the campus, but he confided to Ellen his dislike of circumstances as 
he found them at Johns Hopkins. For example, he objected to what 
he termed a sleight of style. "Ideas," he wrote, "are supposed to be 
everything— their vehicle comparatively nothing." To Ellen, he main- 
tained that an author's influence, in both its amount and in its length 
of life, depended "upon the power and the beauty of his style; upon 
the flawless perfection of the mirror he holds up to nature; upon his 
facility in catching and holding, because he pleases, the attention." 
Under his father's guidance, style had been a major study for Tommy 
and he pledged himself to continue it so. "A writer," he concluded, 
"must be artful as well as strong." 32 

Whether Wilson was taking notes on lectures, or writing an essay for 
publication, or serving as scribe for a graduate seminar, or penning 
a letter of love and affection to Ellen, he endeavored to improve his 
power of expression. He was aware of some improvement as time went 
on. "I know that my careful compositions of today," he declared con- 
fidently, "are vastly better than I could have written five, or even three, 
years ago— and that's very encouraging." He had "imagined a style 
clear, bold, fresh, and facile; a style flexible but always strong, capable 
of light touches or of heavy blows; a style that could be driven at high 

80 Wilson to Ellen Axson, October 30, 1883, Day, Woodrow Wilson's Own Story, 22; 
Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 170-171. 

81 Wilson to Ellen Axson, October 30, 1883, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 168. 
88 Wilson to Ellen Axson, October 30, 1883, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 184. 



Woodrow Wilson and Ellen Axson 45 

speed— a brilliant, dashing, coursing speed— or constrained to the slow 
and stately progress of grave argument, as the case required; a style 
full of life, of colour and vivacity, of soul and energy, or inexhaustible 
power— of a thousand qualities of beauty and grace and strength that 
would make it immortal/' 33 If Wilson, as a graduate student, imagined 
writing in a style like that, he probably was in a class by himself. 
Moreover, under such circumstance, it was no wonder that he was 
"disgusted with the stiff, dry, mechanical, monotonous sentences" in 
which his meager thoughts were "compelled to masquerade, as in gar- 
ments which are too mean even for them." 34 

In January, 1884, Wilson published an article, "Committee or Cab- 
inet Government?" in the Overland Monthly. 35 The article, apparently, 
had a wonderful reception on the university campus. Woodrow, in a 
delightful mood, wrote Ellen that it was lauded for "both the matter 
and the style," which he labeled "too staccato." In amusement, he in- 
formed Ellen of the comments from the fellow graduate students: 

"Wilson," said one critic, "you've picked up a capital literary style some- 
where ("Picked up," indeed! Hasn't my dear father been drilling me in 
style these ten years past?) Upon whose style did you form it? Did you 
come by it naturally, or have you consciously modelled after Macaulay?" 
(Poor Macaulay!) Another friend, who has to follow me in the course of 
"lectures" inaugurated by the reading of that remarkable essay upon 
Adam Smith, coolly asked whether I would be willing to take his materials 
and "put them into literary form" ! I'm sure I have pain enough in putting 
my own materials into literary form without going through like labours 
for other people. 36 

Not only did Woodrow confide in Ellen about his struggles, his dis- 
appointments and his ambitions, but he told her of his practicing ora- 
tory, of his renewing some friendships that were formed in Princeton, 
of his occasional attendance at the theater, of his joining The Johns 
Hopkins University Glee Club, of his activities as a member of the 
Hopkins Literary Society, of his religious faith and philosophy— indeed, 
there seemed to be no activity of his too insignificant to mention in 
his letters. Just as naturally, he apparently, wrote Ellen his day-to-day 
thoughts and musings. 37 

Ellen learned most about Woodrow's determination, during his post- 
graduate days, to write a book of some permanent value on American 

"Wilson to Ellen Axson, January 8, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 185. 
'"Wilson to Ellen Axson, January 8, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 185. 

85 Woodrow Wilson, "Committee or Cabinet Government?," Overland Monthly, Series 
2,111,17-33. 

86 Wilson to Ellen Axson, January 16, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 186. 

87 Consult Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 158, passim. 



46 The North Carolina Historical Review 

political institutions. In August, 1879, Wilson's article, "Cabinet Gov- 
ernment in the United States," appeared in the International Review. 
Doubtless he received favorable comments on it and some suggestions 
from older men about discussing at greater length some of the ideas 
contained in the essay. Wilson had continued to read intensively in the 
two fields of his major interest— history and political science. In his 
reading in American constitutional history and in English constitu- 
tional history, he found the idea which he wished to develop as a book. 
He desired to write of the United States government, he confided to 
Ellen, not as a mere treatise of facts, not as a finished machine, but as 
a living organism, a functional approach as it were. In Walter Bage- 
hot's The English Constitution* 8 Wilson found the example which he 
determined to follow in a book on the American government. 

He became so intensely interested in his reading and in making 
plans for the writing of his book that he decided against any Christmas 
trip home or any vacation at all during the winter of 1883-1884. "I am 
beginning to think," he confessed, "that I made a mistake in working 
all through the vacation without allowing myself any respite at all." 
Except for the time which he spent writing to Ellen or to his family, 
he had studied almost all of the time. He did not go near any of his 
Baltimore friends. Being "such an excessively proud and sensitive 
creature" and looking upon the Christmas season as one "specially 
sacred to family reunions and festivities," he did not choose to visit 
any of the families of his acquaintance, lest he might interfere in some 
way with the freedom of their holiday plans. In order to escape in- 
tolerable loneliness, he went, in self-defense, day and night to his 
work. As a natural consequence, he overdid the business of work. He 
was not often subject to the domination of his nerves, he concluded 
to Ellen, and it usually required only a little prudence to enable him 
to maintain mastery over himself and to keep a free spirit of coura- 
geous, light-hearted work in which he frequently prided himself , 39 

On New Year's Day, 1884, Wilson began writing on his book and 
eagerly wrote Ellen that he had started the New Year with a "day of 
diligent work on my favourite constitutional studies." He planned a 
series of four or five essays on the general subject, "The Government 
of the Union," in which he wished to show, as well as he could, the 
American constitutional system as it looked in operation. His one de- 
sire and ambition, as he stated it, was to treat the American Constitu- 
tion as Bagehot treated the English Constitution. To Wilson, Bage- 
hot brought a fresh and an original method in treating the English 

38 Walter Bagehot, The English Constitution (American edition, 1873). 

39 Wilson to Ellen Axson, January 4, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 188-189. 



Woodrow Wilson and Ellen Axson 47 

Constitution and thereby made the British system of government much 
more intelligible to the average person than ever before. If only such an 
innovation in methodology could be applied in an exposition on our 
Federal Constitution, Wilson believed, the result would be a revela- 
tion to those who were still reading the Federalist as an authoritative 
constitutional manual. Woodrow wrote Ellen that, of course, "an im- 
mense literature has already accumulated upon that subject," but he 
thought that the greater part of it was either irrelevant or already an- 
tiquated. In fact, any close observer who sought to compare the na- 
tional constitution with the living organism of the government would 
at once realize the great contrast between the documentary descrip- 
tion and the reality. Such a person, declared Wilson, would see in the 
life of the government "much which is not in the books; and he will 
not find in the rough practice many refinements of the literary 
theory." 40 

As Woodrow continued to reveal his ambition to Ellen, he, with 
humility, added: "Of course, I am not vain enough to expect to pro- 
duce anything so brilliant or so valuable as Bagehot's book." But by 
following the one he wished to emulate afar off, Wilson hoped to 
produce a book that would be at least worth reading. In any event, 
the manuscript or book, if he were fortunate enough to publish it, 
would serve as material for college lectures. In such capacity, his work 
would place old topics about the Federal Government "in a some- 
what novel light." 

On that particular day— New Year's Day, 1884,— Wilson wrote "an 
historical sketch of the modifications which have been wrought in 
the federal system and which have resulted in making Congress the 
omnipotent power in the government, to the overthrow of the checks 
and balances to be found in the 'literary theory.' " This sketch, Ellen 
read, would be used as an introduction to some essays on the Congress 
in which he planned to examine at length the relations between the 
congressional and the executive branches of the government. He wish- 
ed to investigate thoroughly that legislative machinery which con- 
tained the mainspring of federal actions. Suddenly, Woodrow realized 
that possibly his Ellen was not as intrigued with all of his work as 
he was and half apologized to her. "But what sort of New Year's letter 
is this I'm writing!" he exclaimed. Frankly, he was so absorbed in his 
pet subject that he forgot himself. He could not easily think of any- 
thing else to write about, he lamented, and promised that some day 
he would appall her by reading the introductory essay, or one of its 



40 Wilson to Ellen Axson, January 1, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 213-215. 



48 The North Carolina Historical Review 

successors, to her just to show her how dull he could be upon occa- 



sion. 4 



In addition to the planned book, at which Woodrow was working 
every spare moment, he had an impending examination on the con- 
stitutional history of England which was to be held the first week in 
January. 42 He bore the mental exertion, the nervous tension and the 
physical exhaustion to which he relentlessly drove himself during the 
holiday vacation and to the conclusion of his examinations. Then, as 
Ellen learned, his usual physical maladies of upset digestion, head- 
aches, extreme nervousness, and insomnia overcame him. He left Balti- 
more for Wilmington and remained for months. While at home, Wil- 
son apparently made a visit to the family physician, who told him that 
he was working himself to death. 43 Regularity of habits, easing up some 
on the work, lessening of tension, brought about improvement. 

While he was at home recuperating, Wilson continued to work on 
his book. Progress, he lamented, was slow. Late in March he informed 
Ellen that his calligraph had been "going all day long" for three days. 
Essay number three was completed but had to be copied. "Copying," 
he continued, "is a terribly tedious business— especially copying one's 
own work; and the copying of these three essays is by no means a 
small job; there will be about a hundred and seventy pages of— 
calligraphiscript— by the time I have copied the forty pages that re- 
main; and you can imagine the effect upon my spirits of this task of 
grinding off hour after hour the sentences of which I am now so tired— 
of spending a whole day with the style which is so disgusting to 



me. 4 



A feeling of disgust towards one's intellectual offspring, to Wilson, 
was very unnatural, but he just could not help feeling that way to- 
wards these essays. There was comfort for him, however, in the re- 
flection that others into whose hands the book came would probably 
read them only once and thereby escape the overwhelming contempt 
that was bred by intimate familiarity. 45 

Late in May Wilson wrote to Bobby Bridges that he "expected to 
tackle again constitutional history." He may, however, "fly the track" 
and go to see a "certain charming young lady in Georgia in whom I 
am somewhat interested. Courtship," he added humorously, "beats 
constitutional questions any day." 46 Not only the romantic lure of 



41 Wilson to Ellen Axson, January 1, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 213-215. 
^Wilson to Bridges, December 15, 1883, Meyer Collection. 

43 Wilson to Ellen Axson, January 10, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 213-215. 
"Wilson to Ellen Axson, March 30, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 215. 
46 Wilson to Ellen Axson, March 30, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 215. 
"Wilson to Bridges, May 31, 1884, Meyer Collection. 



Woodrow Wilson and Ellen Axson 49 

courtship prompted Woodrow to think seriously of paying Ellen a 
visit. She needed him, for she had just undergone a tragedy. Her 
father never recovered from his illness of the preceding autumn. 
Fatigue, worry, and physical illness all united to affect his mind. 
Physicians noticed with alarm the Reverend Axson's extreme mental 
involvement. His death, later in May, 1884, was a blessing in disguise. 
Stricken with grief, Ellen needed the comforting presence of her lover 
and the assurances of his words of sympathy. Seemingly, Woodrow re- 
mained in North Carolina but wrote a note of condolence: 

Your dear father, however sad or tragic his death may have been, is 
happy now. His Savior, we may be sure, did not desert his servant at the 
supreme moment; and it is a joy to think that he is now reunited to the 
sweet, noble mother who went before him. 47 

The death of Ellen's father left her homeless. She visited with rela- 
tives and friends in Gainesville, Georgia, and in Savannah, while she 
pondered her immediate future. As Ellen tried to shape her plans for 
the next year until Woodrow could complete his work in graduate 
school, the latter revealed his desires to a former Princeton chum- 
Charles Talcott. Tommy was immoderately eager to take into partner- 
ship a little Georgia girl. Indeed, the only thing that prevented this 
"consummation devoutly to be wished" was the lack of an adequate 
salary; hence, Wilson's extreme interest in securing that ne plus ultra. 
He had no idea of doing such a thing, he declared, "until I met the 
young lassie aforesaid away up in one of the northwest counties of 
Georgia, and then I did it in spite of myself and in the teeth of all 
discretion. And the worst part about it is that I am not the least bit 
sorry for it; on the contrary, I so much approve myself for it that I 
wish I could induce my friends to do likewise." 48 

Although Woodrow obviously gave much thought to Ellen in her 
bereavement and to their plans for a future together, his work on the 
book manuscript was never far removed from his thought. Information 
on his progress was regularly forwarded to Ellen. The fourth essay- 
on the senate— was not progressing very rapidly. The going was slow 
and difficult, but every day saw some advance. He realized, neverthe- 
less, that the slow, labored pace was probably indicative of thorough- 
ness. He would be satisfied, he wrote on July 3, if he could finish the 
essay on the senate by the end of the month. 49 



Wilson to Ellen Axson, June 1, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 208. 

Wilson to Charles Talcott, July 5, 1884, Baker Papers. 

Wilson to Ellen Axson, July 3, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 216. 



50 The North Carolina Historical Review 

In Wilmington, Woodrow found no intellectual companionship, no 
mental stimulation save in his own work. At times he was lonely; fre- 
quently he was just plain bored. Whatever his mood, Ellen always 
knew of it. "Dear Mother," he wrote on one occasion, "makes pastoral 
calls, and I make some or none according to my mood." Usually Wilson 
spent the mornings writing on his book. Frequently, he drove his 
mother in the afternoons and after supper habitually read aloud, while 
his mother sat nearby, sewing or embroidering as she listened atten- 
tively. These things Woodrow grumblingly regarded "as much too big 
a price to pay for the privilege of devoting my mornings to study. And 
yet a chap," he confessed to Ellen, "does need some powerful antidote 
when he takes original composition in large doses." There was not half 
as much wear and tear for Wilson in mastering the contents of a score 
of books as in writing one. He was dead certain that no amount of 
reading taxed him as severely as two or three hours of concentrated 
writing. 50 

Throughout the summer Wilson continued to write concentratedly 
in the forenoon, to take his mother for leisurely drives in the afternoon, 
and to read to her in the evenings. When he returned to Johns Hop- 
kins early in October, the book manuscript was practically completed. 
He hastened to finish the task and proudly announced its completion 
to Ellen. Now he was free to turn to his university studies, that is, 
until the manuscript was returned and had to be sent to another pros- 
pective publisher. 51 In this not unnatural feeling about his manuscript 
Wilson was too pessimistic. 

Shortly after dispatching his manuscript on Congressional Govern- 
ment to Houghton Mifflin and Company, Wilson had most interesting 
news from Ellen. She had decided to spend the winter, 1884-1885, 
working at the Art Students' League in New York. From her father she 
had a small inheritance and decided to spend it in further developing 
her artistic talent. Furthermore, New York was not very far from Balti- 
more. When the train on which Ellen was traveling stopped at the 
Baltimore station, Woodrow rushed in, found a seat beside her and 
announced that he was going to New York to aid her in getting located. 

To all of Woodrow's expressed doubts about the acceptance of his 
book manuscript, Ellen gave her most optimistic assurances of its 
acceptance. After Woodrow's return to the University campus. Ellen 
wrote seeking information for her own satisfaction. "No," came the 
reply, "I haven't heard a word from H. M. and Co., though it is now 
five weeks since I sent them my mss." Seemingly, the publisher was 

50 Wilson to Ellen Axson, August 31, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 217. 

51 Wilson to Ellen Axson, November 11, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 218. 



Woodrow Wilson and Ellen Axson 51 

either considering the matter with unusual care or had rejected the 
manuscript and forgotten to return it. "The only certainty," Wilson 
concluded, "was that I am very anxious and have suspended all defi- 
nite expectations in the matter." 52 More than two weeks more elapsed 
before he, with restrained enthusiasm, sent "some exceptionally good 
news." Indeed, Houghton Mifflin offered him "as good terms as if I 
were already a well-known writer! The success is of such proportions 
as almost to take my breath away— it has distanced by best hopes" 53 
Wilson was elated, but only momentarily. It was not his nature to 
remain exhilarated for long. 

Quite naturally, when Woodrow escorted Ellen to New York City, 
he told her that his dearest friend, Bobby Bridges, lived there. He ex- 
pressed the hope that the two could meet and become fast friends. 
Within a few days after his return to Baltimore, Tommy took the initial 
step in helping Bobby and Ellen to get acquainted: "I should be de- 
lighted if you could find time some evening to call on her [Ellen 
Axsonl. There would seem to be some necessary fitness in a fellow's 
best male friend knowing the lady who is nearer to him than all the 
rest of the world; and one of the first things I thought of when Miss 
Axson decided to study in New York this winter was that that might 
bring you two together— should bring you together, If I was to have 
a say in the matter. I hope, old fellow, that our homes won't lie so far 
apart that you can't get to know all about her house-keeping when she 
becomes Mrs. Wilson!" 54 

Shortly after receiving Tommy's letter which contained Ellen's ad- 
dress on Fourteenth Street, Bobby called on her. From both of them 
Woodrow learned of the visit. When Ellen, with unbounded enthu- 
siasm, told Bobby that Woodrow's manuscript on Congressional Gov- 
ernment had been accepted for publication, he was delighted. Bobby 
wrote Tommy that he thought his Princeton friend should have told 
him. Wilson confessed: "I should have told you of the acceptance of 
my book but Miss Axson wanted the fun of telling somebody and so 
I left you to her/' 55 

While rejoicing over the acceptance of Congressional Government 
for publication, two significant problems arose from which Wilson 
had to find answers. The first was that of trying for the Doctor of 
Philosophy degree. Woodrow was definitely against striving for the 



62 Wilson to Ellen Axson, November 11, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 219. 

63 Wilson to Ellen Axson, November 28, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 219. 
"Wilson to Bridges, November 19, 1884, Meyer Collection. 

65 Wilson to Bridges, December 20, 1884, Meyer Collection. Bridges' letter to Wilson 
written a few days before December 20, has been lost but Wilson in his letter men- 
tions the one from Bridges. 



52 The North Carolina Historical Review 

doctorate, not that he anticipated failure, but because he did not want 
to do the reading and study that would be necessary, In doubt, per- 
haps, that his decision not to try for the degree was a mistake, he ap- 
pealed to his father in "sixteen pages ... on the pros and cons of cram- 
ming" for the required examinations. Dr. Wilson, having received his 
professional title honoris causa, naturally, perhaps, advised against the 
special study necessary for the degree. As soon as Wilson learned 
that his father's opinion concurred with his own, he assured Ellen that 
"father advises me not to try for it [the doctorate]: and, since his 
advice coincides with my own coolest judgment in the matter, I have 
concluded to make no special effort in reading for it." He was posi- 
tive that he would profit much more substantially from reading ac- 
cording to his own tastes and choosing than he would from the read- 
ing necessary for the Ph.D. degree— although his inclinations would 
take him through the most important topics of that course. The chief 
difference, as he analyzed the situation to Ellen, was that he would 
read, "outside of the prescribed lines, a great deal that will be of in- 
finitely more service [to him] than the volumes of another sort which 
I should perfunctorily peruse, to the mortification of my own tastes 
and desires, were I to goad myself to the tasks heaped upon the de- 
gree candidate." 

Did Ellen approve of the decision? Woodrow wanted to know: "You 
certainly have a right to be consulted, because it is probable that a 
degree would render me a little more marketable next June than I shall 
otherwise be." Indeed, this was the only condition which caused him 
any hesitancy about the decision he and his father had made. It was a 
choice, he concluded, "between pecuniary profit and mental ad- 
vantage." 56 

The wisdom of Wilson's choice was questionable. In fact, about a 
year and a half later he received the Ph.D. degree from The Johns Hop- 
kins University. It came upon the urging of Ellen, now Woodrow's wife. 
She wisely chose as his fiancee not to oppose his decision when sup- 
ported by his father. Later, however, as Mrs. Wilson, she exerted the 
necessary pressure. She was assisted by Wilson's professional employer, 
Dean Carey Thomas of Bryn Mawr College. The faculty of the uni- 
versity co-operated splendidly by accepting Wilson's book, Congres- 
sional Government, as his doctoral dissertation and by omitting all 
language requirements. 57 

58 Wilson to Ellen Axson, November 8, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 235-236. 

m Wilson to Herbert B. Adams, April 2, 8, 1886, Herbert B. Adams Papers, Library 
of The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, hereinafter cited as Adams 
Papers. The important letter from Adams to Wilson, dated between these two from 
Wilson to him, seems to have been lost but Wilson's second letter to Adams discusses 
the faculty's decision in his "case." 



Woodrow Wilson and Ellen Axson 53 

Wilson's other problem was that of finding a teaching position. If 
there were several professionally desirable places open, as Ray Stan- 
nard Baker stated in his official biography of Wilson, there is no docu- 
mentary evidence in the Wilson Papers that he was offered any of these 
positions, nor that he was even sought. When a new Quaker Col- 
lege— Bryn Mawr— located in a suburb of Philadelphia, desired young 
men to aid in organizing the various department, Wilson was recom- 
mended by his professor. Immediately, he revealed the details to Ellen: 
"Just before lecture [it was late in November, 1884], Dr. Adams 
came to me and asked me if I wouldn't come into his office a moment 
and meet some persons who were interested in me and in historical 
work." A few moments later as Woodrow entered his professor's office, 
he was introduced to Miss Carey Thomas, Dean of Bryn Mawr, and 
to Dr. James E. Rhoads, a trustee of the recently organized girls' school. 
According to Woodrow, Dean Thomas was choosing her faculty with 
great care "because each teacher chosen will, of course, have to lay 
the foundations of his, or her, department— will have to organize it 
and give it direction and plan." 58 Other conferences between Dean 
Thomas and Woodrow followed. Out of these meetings came Wood- 
row's first job. 

When Ellen learned of Woodrow's position at Bryn Mawr, she 
wrote bemoaning the fact that she, a faculty member's prospective 
bride, did not know as much as the Bryn Mawr girls were expected to 
know. Woodrow answered that she was a "little goose" to permit her- 
self to think that way about the situation and asked her to think of 
his case. "I am to be one of their instructors," he wrote, "and yet I 
not only could not pass the entrance examinations without special pre- 
paration, but could not even be an advanced student, much less a Fel- 
low, in my own department— because I can't read German at sight! 
Both you and I," Woodrow reassured Ellen, "have what is immeasur- 
ably better than the information which is all that would be needed for 
passing Bryn Mawr, or any other college examination!" 59 

Moreover, as Woodrow explained to Ellen, he had no desire to car- 
ry in his head more information. He wanted to forget the figures in the 
column whose sum and result he had ascertained and wanted to keep. 
"I must scan information," he continued, "must question it closely as 
to every essential detail, in order that I may extract its meaning; but, 
the meaning once mastered, the information is lumber." Obviously, 
it would be necessary to know where to find the information when 

68 Wilson to Ellen Axson, November 27, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 237. 

69 Wilson to Ellen Axson, November 30, 1884, Day, Woodrow Wilson's Own Story, 
27-28. 



54 The North Carolina Historical Review 

needed for illustrations or for corroboration. Moreover, one could not 
make himself familiar with facts for such purposes without remember- 
ing some of the more essential ones. Woodrow concluded, "it is sheer, 
barren, ignorant waste of energy to try to remember a fact for its own 
sake." 60 

Woodrow and Ellen were seeing each other during these months of 
their engagement before their marriage as frequently as the exigencies 
of their respective student careers would permit. After a week-end 
visit in New York, Woodrow returned to Baltimore to write that it 
wasn't "pleasant or convenient to have strong passions. I have the un- 
comfortable feeling that I am carrying a volcano about with me." His 
salvation was in being loved. Furthermore, Ellen was "the only person 
in the world— except the dear ones at home" with whom he did not 
have to act a part, to whom he did not have to deal out confidences 
cautiously. Ellen was the "only person in the world— without any ex- 
ceptions" to whom Woodrow could confide all that his heart con- 
tained. "There surely never lived a man," he concluded, "with whom 
love was a more critical matter than it is with me." 61 

Upon returning to the campus after a delightful visit with Ellen, 
Woodrow soon experienced the greatest thrill of every young enter- 
prising author. He held in his hand the first copies of his book "over 
which he had toiled long, hoped greatly, and despaired bitterly!" 
Woodrow answered the question to whom he should send the first copy 
of his book: "I received two copies of Congressional Government last 
evening and immediately reversed the wrappers about one of them 
and sent it off to you—in hopes that you would get it before Sunday." 
He took the time only to write Ellen's name upon the fly-leaf which 
required about ten minutes because of the difficulty in deciding what 
to write. As he stated: "I had to say everything or nothing— and what 
I wanted to put would have been out of place on the public face of 
a book." 

Social etiquette did not keep Wilson from saying in a love letter to 
Ellen what he felt: "I wanted to say," Woodrow confided to Ellen, 
"that everything in the book was yours already, having been written 
in the light and under the inspiration of your love; that every word 
of it was written as if to you, with thoughts of what you would think 
of it, and speculations as to your delight should it receive favour from 
the publishers and the public; that, as your love runs through this my 
first book, so it must be the enabling power in all that I may write 

60 Wilson to Ellen Axson, November 30, 1884, Day, Woodrow Wilson's Own Story, 
27-28. 

61 Wilson to Ellen Axson, December 7, 1884, Day, Woodrow Wilson's Own Story, 29. 



Woodrow Wilson and Ellen Axson 55 

hereafter, for without your entire love and faith and sympathy it must 
be also the last book into which I could put any of myself; that, in 
presenting it to you, I was presenting it to one whose praise and ap- 
proval are a thousand times sweeter and more essential to me than the 
praise and approval of the whole world of critics and readers. In send- 
ing you my first book, darling, I renew the gift of myself." 62 

Ellen expressed to Anna Harris her delight with Congressional Gov- 
ernment's public reception. The book had a wonderful success where 
success was most valuable, among scholars. It was delightfully sur- 
prising, said Ellen to Anna, the number of enthusiastic letters Wood- 
row was receiving from such men. The reviews were laudatory and 
the book was selling well. 63 Indeed, it was in truth an epoch in the 
lives of these two young people, Ellen remembered, and she "for one 
could scarcely sleep for happiness because of it." 64 

In the meantime these youthful lovers were discussing plans for 
their marriage in the summer. For a while they toyed with the idea of 
a June wedding and a honeymoon in "some quiet picturesque spot in 
New England." Here they would rusticate, making themselves happy 
"with books and pen and pencil and each other until it is time to come 
back to the work a day world!" 65 But even as Ellen described these 
plans to Anna Harris, she added there were a great many practical 
difficulties in the way. Although the New England honeymoon was 
given up for a mountain spot in the South, Wilson pled so earnestly 
and so determinedly for their wedding in June that Ellen promised to 
do all in her power to make it possible. 

As Ellen informed her dear friend, the trouble with her was "simply 
a want of time and money." She did not finish at the Art Students' 
League until the first of June and then she would be completely bank- 
rupt. But, to let Ellen continue: "I ought really to spend the summer 
mending my broken fortunes— and, yet, again perhaps, I ought not. 
I am afraid it wouldn't be just to him, after my hard winter's work to 
spend the summer in the same way and then go to him worn out, 
perhaps broken down in health. It would perhaps be wiser to sacri- 
fice a portion of my little principle, buy my trousseau ready made 
and take no thought of the morrow." 66 There were economic matters 
reserved in Ellen's mind. Her heart also had its reasons and these she 
in complete confidence revealed: "I am anxious to do as he wishes; 

02 Wilson to Ellen Axson, January 24, 1885, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 220-221. 

63 Ellen Axson to Anna Harris, March 8, 1885, Axson-Harris Correspondence. 

64 Ellen Axson Wilson to Gamaliel Bradford, Jr., August (?), 1912, Baker, Woodrow 
Wilson, I, 224. 

66 Ellen Axson to Anna Harris, March 8, 1885, Axson-Harris Correspondence. 
66 Ellen Axson to Anna Harris, March 8, 1885, Axson-Harris Correspondence. 



56 The North Carolina Historical Review 

in fact, I wish it so strongly myself that my judgment is apt to be 
biased. This separation is becoming unbearable, almost, to me as to 
my passionate lover. Formerly I was willing to be his wife some time 
—now I long to be, as soon as possible. I thought I loved him at the 
first, but I find I had only begun to love, but then he has given me 
so much reason to love him. No one will ever know all he has been to 
me. I think he made life itself possible. Without him I should have 
been utterly crushed and broken in body and spirit. I have terrible 
days or rather nights sometimes now but on the whole I am happy, 
wonderfully happy, and it is altogether owing to his wonderful love." 67 

To Bobby Bridges, Tommy wrote that he and Ellen were "to be mar- 
ried in Savannah, on June 24— the wedding is to be a private, family 
affair, with no formal invitations sent out." Woodrow wanted to write 
each member of his Princeton gang to come to see him set out on a new 
and better stage of his career. 68 But none came. 

At the conclusion of his university work, Woodrow went to the 
home of his sister, Mrs. Anna Wilson Howe, in Columbia, South Caro- 
lina. Ellen reached Savannah a few days later. In the Manse of the 
Independent Presbyterian Church of Savannah, on June 24, 1885, 
Woodrow Wilson and Ellen Axson became husband and wife. Ellen's 
grandfather, the Reverend I. S. K. Axson, who was minister of the 
church, performed the ceremony. He was assisted in the simple cere- 
mony by Dr. Joseph R. Wilson, father of the groom. The two lovers 
"stood in the corner of the quaint old parlour with its high ceiling, its 
fireplace, its dignified furniture." 69 Woodrow, born in a Presbyterian 
manse, was married in a Presbyterian manse to a girl who, also, was 
born in a Presbyterian manse. 

Years later, Stockton Axson remembered how Woodrow and he 
"chatted about the books in my grandfather's bookcases while we 
waited for the bride to come downstairs." He also recalled a "less 
idyllic circumstance, how bliss was jarred and the scent of orange 
blossoms temporarily annulled while two small boys, the bridegroom's 
nephew, William Howe, and the bride's brother, Edward Axson, 
mixed it up' in a gorgeous fight over some difference in boyish opin- 
ions. The bride was much shocked; but I caught a twinkle in the 
bridegroom's eye, which seemed to say, 'let's separate them; but don't 
let's be in too desperate haste about it." 70 Any man who "could re- 

67 Ellen Axson to Anna Harris, March 8, 1885, Axson-Harris Correspondence. 

" Wilson to Bridges, May 21, June 10, 1885, Meyer Collection. 

89 Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 238. 

70 Axson, "Private Life of Woodrow Wilson." 



Woodrow Wilson and Ellen Axson 57 



joice in a kin fight on his wedding day surely has that broad catholic 
taste in joy which shows the understanding heart." 71 

After a few days in which they visited with Woodrow's sister and 
her family, the George Howes, the newlyweds went to the North 
Carolina mountains. The village, which "bore the idyllic name of 
Arden," was located in Buncombe County. They stayed at the Park 
Hotel. 72 Much of the time during the day was spent outdoors walking 
along the mountain trails, viewing the lovely scenery, listening to the 
calls of the many birds. 

Wilson's marriage meant everything to him. It would be almost im- 
possible to overemphasize its importance in his life. To Ellen he had 
written of their love, their marriage, their future together so many 
times and in such words of dedication. In one such letter Woodrow de- 
clared that "the intellectual life is sometimes a fearfully solitary one. 
..." Give him one friend who can understand him, who will not leave 
him, who will always be accessible by day and night— one friend, one 
kindly listener, just one, and the whole universe is changed. "It is 
deaf and indifferent no longer, and whilst she listens, it seems as if all 
men and angels listened also, so perfectly his thought is mirrored in 
the light of her answering eyes. . . . There surely never lived a man," 
he concluded, "with whom love was a more critical matter than it 
is with me." 73 And with Wilson, this continued to be true. 



"White, Woodrow Wilson, 102. 

72 Wilson to Talcott, June 9, 1885, Baker Papers. 

73 Wilson to Ellen Axson, December 7, 1884, Baker, Woodrow Wilson, I, 242. 



THE PRISON DIARY OF ADJUTANT 
FRANCIS ATHERTON BOYLE, C. S. A. 

Edited by Mary Lindsay Thornton * 



Published accounts of prison life during the Civil War have often 
been reminiscences written long after the close of hostilities. Bitter in 
their accusations with a tendency to stress atrocities more and more 
as years intervene, they can hardly be accepted without reservation. 
In recent years, the so-called realistic novel has added new horror to 
the story. On the other hand, diaries written as day-by-day records 
while in prison may be softened by a lack of privacy and an enforced 
reticence for fear of discovery by some zealous guard. The diary of 
Francis Atherton Boyle written during his imprisonment at Fort 
Delaware is almost always expressed in a restrained tone. It is re- 
served in its comment on physical hardship with attention directed 
to a thoughtful and skillful survival. It is remarkable as the expression 
of a spirit that sought and found escape from the monotony, sordid- 
ness, and indignity of prison life in books and study, and in religious 
activity. 

Francis Atherton Boyle was born in Plymouth, North Carolina, July 9, 
1838, the oldest of a family of eight children. He was the son of 
John McCausland Boyle (1803-1867) of Ballymena, County Antrim, 
Ireland, and Maria A. Plumbe, of Neath, Glamorganshire, South Wales. 1 
He was a student at Dartmouth College in 1858, but did not graduate, 2 
returning to Plymouth to take over his father's lumber business in 
1859. 3 He enlisted in the Confederate Army, May 16, 1861, in a com- 
pany that was being organized in Tyrrell and Washington counties 
with Edmund C. Brabble as its captain. 4 It later became a part of the 

* Miss Mary Lindsay Thornton is Librarian Emeritus of the North Carolina Collec- 
tion, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. 

1 Tombstone inscriptions and baptismal records, Grace Church (Episcopal), Plymouth. 

2 Alumni Records (manuscript), Dartmouth College Archives, Hanover, New Hamp- 
shire, hereinafter cited as Dartmouth Archives. 

8 Francis A. Boyle to S. L. Gerould, Secretary of the Class of 1858, March 25, 1904, 
Dartmouth Archives. 

*John Wheeler Moore, Roster of North Carolina Troops in the War Between the 
States (Raleigh: Ashe and Gatling, 4 volumes, 1882), II, 571, hereinafter cited as 
Moore, Roster of North Carolina Troops. 



Diary of Francis A. Boyle 59 

First Battalion of North Carolina Volunteers which was absorbed in 
the Thirty-second North Carolina Infantry in the summer of 1862. In 
May, 1863, it joined the Army of Northern Virginia, and took part in 
the campaign that culminated in the Battle of Gettysburg. 5 Boyle was 
promoted from First Sergeant to Adjutant of the Regiment, June 27, 
1863, 6 and remained in active service in the field until he was captured 
during the desperate fighting around Spotsylvania Court House early 
in May, 1864. He was sent to Point Lookout for a short time, and from 
there to Fort Delaware where he was imprisoned until July, 1865. 
After the war he returned to his home and continued in the lumber 
business at Hamilton, and later at Jamesville, until his death, July 4, 
1907. He was married on October 19, 1865, to Annie A. Hemick, of 
Baltimore, with whom he corresponded while in prison. 7 The diary, 
which is in the Southern Historical Collection at the University of 
North Carolina Library as the gift of Mrs. John S. McEldowney, 
Boyles' niece, begins a few days before his capture and continues with 
fair regularity until shortly before his release. 



1864 

Left camp Wednesday 4th May. Moved to Mine Run, lay there three 
hours, moved to Parker's store, encamped for the night, moved down the 
turnpike late Thursday morning — and met the enemy about noon. 8 Sup- 
ported Stuart's brigade ; Our right charged the enemy. Moved to the right 
& then to the rear. Rested till sunset, then moved to the right till after 
night, about two miles. Threw up breastworks till day. 

Friday 6th. Remained quiet on the main line. Skirmishers actively en- 
gaged. Artillery used upon the enemy's position. Slight shelling in return. 

Saturday 7th. Still comparatively quiet. At night moved to the right 
about a mile. Moving nearly all night. 

Sunday 8th. Marched to a position near Spottsylvania C. H. Day very 
hot, many men fainting and exhausted. Reached our position about sunset 
and charged the enemy immediately. Moved about a mile forward till dark 
coming on, halted and threw up entrenchments. 



5 Walter Clark, Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Caro- 
lina, in the Great War, 1861-65 (Raleigh and Goldsboro: State of North Carolina, 5 
volumes, 1901), II, 521-536, hereinafter cited as Clark, Histories of the North Carolina 
Regiments. 

8 Moore, Roster of North Carolina Troops, II, 571. 

7 Boyle to Gerould, March 25 and May 17, 1904, Dartmouth Archives. 

8 This encounter marked the beginning of the Battle of the Wilderness, May 5-7, 
1864. Mine Run is a little stream near Orange Court House where Lee had his head- 



quarters. Parker's store was one mile from the Orange Plank Road. 



60 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Monday 9th. Another fine day — comparatively quiet in our immediate 
front. Perfected our entrenchments. 

Tuesday 10th. Opened quiet. About noon Doles Skirmishers in our front 
driven in. Enemy began shelling heavily — till dusk. Then they charged our 
lines in solid columns of regiments, broke Doles line and taking ours in 
reserve captured the position and about 700 prisoners. The position was in 
a very few minutes retaken, but too late to rescue us. 9 About 225 enlisted 
men of our Regt captured & six officers We were hurried to the rear and 
remained for the night under guard. 

Wednesday 11th. Moved under a cavalry guard to the Camp of the 
Provost Guard, in all about 3,000 prisoners here. 

Thursday 12th. Moved prisoners camp a mile or two in the direction of 
Fredericksburg. Heard heavy firing all day from Grants desperate but 
unsuccessful assaults upon our lines. About 3,000 prisoners captured from 
Maj. Gen. Johnstons Div. came in making about 6000 in all captured 
from our army in the nine days fighting. This is very nearly correct. 

Friday 13th. We were carried through Fredericksburg to Belle Plain 
a distance of about 15 miles. 10 After an hours rest the officers were put on 
a steamer. Moved out to the mouth of Potomac creek and anchored for the 
night. This has been a very fatiguing day. The heavy mud and rapid 
marching, being very severe upon those of us unaccustomed to marching. 

Saturday 14th. We moved down the river to Point Lookout where proba- 
bly owing to the crowded condition of the boat 100 of us were put off, 
registered, examined and marched to our Prison quarters. 11 

Sunday 15th. My first day of prison life, as little unmarked by incident 
as most of them will probably be. 

Sunday May 29th. Heard preaching from an old gentleman a fellow 
prisoner & a Methodist. Read the church service in the afternoon to a 
pretty good congregation. 

I have written during the past week to a good many of my quondam 
Northern friends and acquaintances. Have heard from none of them as yet 
excepting from Dr. Kerfoot promising to send me some books that I have 



8 General Lee's Report, May 10, 1864, says of this engagement: "Today the enemy 
shelled our lines and made several assaults with infantry against different points. . . . 
They were easily repulsed, except in front of Doles' brigade, where they drove our 
men from their position. . . . The men soon rallied, and by dark our line was re- 
established." R. N. Scott and Others (eds.), The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation 
of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, D. C: Gov- 
ernment Printing Office, 70 volumes [127 books, atlases, and index], 1880-1901), Series 
I, XXGVI, Part I, 1,029, hereinafter cite as Official Records. 

10 Belle Plain was a temporary camp for the reception of prisoners. Francis Trevelyan 
Miller (ed.), The Photographic History of the Civil War (New York: The Review of Re- 
views Company, 10 volumes, 1911), VII, 42. 

11 Point Lookout is surrounded by Chesapeake Bay, Potomac River, and Tanner's 
Creek. It was established as a prison in July, 1863, with a guard of 300 men to 
accommodate about 10,000 prisoners. Official Records, Series II, VI, 141-142. 



Diary of Francis A. Boyle 61 

asked him to send me. Written home two or three times in hopes that some 
of them might get through, though it is said that Flag of Truce communi- 
cation has been suspended. Not being able to get any money, we are con- 
fined to prison fare. Bread, weak coffee, Beans, Beef, Pork and Potatoes. 

Sunday (May 29) June 5 Owing to the influx of prisoners into the 
privates camp the boundary line has been moved, reducing the limits of our 
enclosure very much. As we are still allowed the privilege of the beach for 
bathing etc. the reduction of space is no material deprivation. We have still 
space enough for tents, Streets, mess Hall, Hospital etc. without crowding. 
I have received a letter from Messrs. Benton & Sons & from Cousin Mary 
Tucker enclosing $20 from Mr. Southgate kindly offering to let me have 
what I may need. Have written to both in return, asking latter for $50. 
Read service again today. 

I have made a mistake in my dates ; the above ought to be 29th May & 
June 5 instead of May 22, & May 29. The first week was unmarked by 
anything of especial interest. 

Wednesday. June 8th. Received in the past few days letters from Mr. 
Bolton, absence from home prevented his writing sooner — from Cousin 
Mary Tucker stating that Mr. Southgate had sent me $50 — from Benton 
& Sons saying that they shipped clothing to me on the 4th inst. & from 
Maj. Lewis. 12 Have written since reaching here to Benton 3, Bolton 2, 
Norcross 2, Wendell, Hilliard 2, Edgeworth F. Sim. 1, Terry — Clay — Davis 
— Maitland — Lewis 3, Stephenson, Tucker 2, Southgate — Santos — Home 5, 
Frensby, Wright, Plumbe, Witmer & Bronson & Kerf oot, 34 in all, certainly 
enough to start & correspondence. 

Have been reading Wayland's Moral Philosophy and 3 novels, Maryatts 

Percival Keene, The Ogilvies by & Bulwers Last of the Barons. 

I am very anxious to get the books promised me by Dr. Kerf oot. Fortunate- 
ly I had my Bible & Prayer Book on my person at the time of my capture. 

Friday. June 10th Quite an eventful day for prisoners considering the 
usual monotony of our life. During the last fortnight several prisoners 
have been attempting in various ways to make their escape, generally 
succeeding in getting outside the enclosure, but so far as we have heard 
they have all been arrested and brought back before getting very far. Last 
night some one or two officers escaped by means of a rope ladder, which 
was found this morning hanging against the fence. Soon Maj. Weymouth 
& Staff 13 rode into camp, ordered us all out on the beach and made us an 
eloquent harangue threatening us to deprive us of (bedsteads?) seats, &c 
&c if we didn't stay peacably in durance vile, and by way of proving that 
he meant what he said, ordered that all our valises, trunks, carpet-bags, 
boxes &c, in short everything that would hold anything should be taken 
away. Consequently all our clothing, eatables, trinkets of all kinds are 
bundled out on the floor or ground until we can collect new receptables for 

12 Major Henry G. Lewis, Thirty-second North Carolina Infantry, was wounded and 
made a prisoner at Gettysburg. Moore, Roster of North Carolina Troops, II, 570. 

13 Major Harrison G. O. Weymouth, First U. S. Volunteers, Provost Marshal, Point 
Lookout, Official Records, Series II, VII, 385, 1,364. 



62 The North Carolina Historical Review 

our use. I have received to day and answered letters from Mr. Bronson, 14 
Maj. Tenny & Miss Lizzie Hilliard. 15 

We have had a change in Sutlers too, today, and it is to be hoped that 
under the new Regime things will be a little more reasonable. White sugar 
30 cts, Brown 20, Eggs 40 cts per doz, Butter 60 cts per Lb. are the present 
rates. Wrote to Lt. Doles today. 16 Heard from him yesterday. Heavy rain 
last night. The weather for the past ten days has been remarkably cool 
and pleasant, winds & frequent showers. 

June 14, Tuesday. Received express package today from Benton & Sons 
containing shirts, drawers, pair of shoes, pants and coat. Received $50 
on Sunday from Mr. Southgate. Finished reading Waylands Philosophy, & 
have nothing now to read excepting periodicals which Lt Bond has kindly 
given me the use of. 17 There is a good deal of interesting matter in them, 
most of them are nos. of Littell Living Age. They have been allowing 
papers to come into camp again today. Received a letter from Cousin 
Edward Plumbe yesterday from Dacotah Territory. Have met here a 
Captain Chinn from Baton Rouge La. who was very well acquainted with 
Uncle Anderson and Uncle William and their wives families. 18 Have had 
good deal of chat with him about them & about Louisiana generally. 

June 23d Thursday. The days slip by so rapidly and uniformly that un- 
less one were able to keep a regular diary (which the lack of incident will 
not afford) the entrys are not so frequent as they might be. Last Sunday 
I read as usual the afternoon service and an excellent tract entitled "All 
to Jesus." The congregation was quite good, numbering about 80, and the 
responses so much better than heretofore. I have found here five or six 
churchmen. I have recently heard from Miss Hattie Fitch. She wrote me 
a very kind letter and sent me her photograph. 

I received the other day three packages of books from whom I do not 
know. I suppose however from some of Mr. Bronson's parishoners or 
perhaps from himself. They embrace novels, church books & Tracts. All 
exceedingly welcome. [Written across this entry] Came from Dr. Kerfoot 
Reed a letter a day or two since from Maj. Lewis. Rolls have been taken it 
is said preparatory to removing all the officers to Fort Delaware and I 
should not be surprised if my next entry were made there as we are momen- 



14 Probably the Reverend Benjamin Swann Bronson, who came to North Carolina in 
the early 1850's. Lizzie Wilson Montgomery, Sketches of Old Warrenton, North Caro- 
lina; Traditions and Reminiscences of the Town and People who Made It (Raleigh: 
Edwards and Broughton Company, 1924), 186-187, 212. 

w Lizzie Hilliard was the daughter of the Reverend Francis Hilliard, Rector of Grace 
Church, Plymouth. She was identified by Mary Cotten Davenport of Plymouth, who had 
known her personally. 

"Lieutenant William F. Doles, Company H, Thirty-second North Carolina Infantry. 
Moore, Roster of North Carolina Troops, II, 590. 

17 Lieutenant William R. Bond, Company F, Forty-third North Carolina Infantry, and 
aide de camp to General Junius Daniel. He was made a prisoner at Gettysburg. Moore, 
Roster of North Carolina Troops, III, 210; Clark, Histories of the North Carolina 
Regiments, IV, 518. 

18 Captain B. R. Chinn, Company C, Ninth Battalion Louisiana Infantry, was cap- 
tured in Port Hudson, Louisiana, July 9, 1863. Andrew Booth (comp.), Records of 
Louisiana Confederate Soldiers (New Orleans: 3 volumes in 4, 1920), 1, 328. 



Diary of Francis A. Boyle 63 

tarily expecting orders. The negro regiment has been away from here for 
some time on a stealing expedition in Va. They have returned I hear, with 
any quantity of plunder, and made their appearance on guard again today 
for the first time since their return. 

The manner in which the rations of prisoners are managed here is 
curious and must redound to the benefit of somebody very extensively. The 
first item after our arrival was the entire withdrawal of the coffee & sugar 
rations. Next the quantity of meat was reduced one-third. Then, molasses 
till this time issued tri-weekly disappeared from the festive scene. Then as 
the only thing left to operate on, the loaves one of which was issued to each 
man daily, began to grow smaller by degrees and beautifully less, till they 
suddenly increased perceptibly, and henceforth two men were to divide 
each loaf instead of each one holding undisputed right thereto. This in- 
genious dodge in the art of subdivision was neverthless too patent to pass 
undiscovered, for as we had anticipated the new edition began to show the 
same propensity for shrinking that the original one had done. No one 
knows where this business would have ended had not a summons come for 
us to leave today for Fort Delaware. 

Tuesday June 28th Here we are in Yankee prison No. 2, after such a 
trip as I have heard of, but never experienced before. 540 of us crowded 
on the main deck and forward hold of a transport screw propeller. We were 
packed as close as herrings and the weather was unconscionably hot. Most 
fortunately for us the sea (for we came via Cape Henry, outside) was per- 
fectly smooth, so that though we of course had many green hands on board, 
no one was made sea-sick. Had the passage been a rough one, it would have 
been perfectly awful in our crowded condition. As it was it was bad 
enough. About 50 of us were allowed to be on the upper deck at one time. 
The Yankee guard was stationed up here, so that any idea of seizing the 
boat was entirely precluded. A gun boat accompanied us all the way, to 
guard against the possibility of a rebel cruiser. 

We have now been at Fort Delaware long enough to compare it with 
Point Lookout. I will therefore sum up the comparative advantages and 
disadvantages of the two places. 

ADVANTAGES 
Point Lookout 19 Fort Delaware 20 

Cooler water, if bad. Fair water & the chance of improv- 
A more reasonable sutler. ing it by ice. 
The advantage of less men to- An ice cream stand, 
gether. Barracks instead of tents 
More punctuality in sending letters. More punctuality in delivery of let- 
More room. ters, money & express packages. 
A very accommodating ass't A decent commander. 
provost. Less dust. 

19 James H. Thompson, Surgeon, U. S. Volunteers, reporting on Point Lookout, June 
23, 1864, says the water was unfit for use and the diet insufficient. There were 20,000 
prisoners on the Point with 1,300 wounded. Official Records, Series II, VII, 399-400. 

50 Fort Delaware was situated at the head of Delaware Bay about fifty miles below 
Philadelphia on a piece of land known as Pea Patch Island. The prison barracks were 
similar to long cowsheds and were directly under fire from the guns of a fortress built 



64 



The North Carolina Historical Review 



ADVANTAGES (cont.) 

Good sea bathing. Two meals a day. 

Chance of getting Southern news Later news, 
in Baltimore Gazette 



DISADVANTAGES 



Point Lookout 



A rascally Provost Marshall. 
Great delay in the delivery of 
money 

negroes to guard us. 
a great deal of dust. 
Tents, which though more conve- 
nient are not adapted to windy 
situations. 

For a long time no newspapers. 
A very strict patrol at night. 
Very poor soup. The cooking in- 
ferior to Ft. D. 



Fort Delaware 
Delay in sending letters. 
No opportunity to hire extra cook- 
ing done. 

A very rascally sutler who charges 
triple prices. 21 

No opportunity to get "Copper- 
head" Journals. 
No good place to bathe. 
Less room. 
Smaller rations. 
&c &c &c 



I think that thats what may be calling "striking a balance" and on the 
whole a pretty even one. I wouldn't stand the terrible trip between the two 
points to go to either. The rations here are about as small as can well be 
imagined. About six ounces of bread and 4 oz of meat to each man and the 
government no doubt charged full rations. What a harvest for somebody ! 

Wednesday June 29. We are enjoying just now a very opportune cool 
spell. 



Friday. July 1st Only four days left for Grant to capture Richmond. 
Gold quoted at 2.50. We certainly ought to be in good spirits and we are. 
We live here in a large barn like barracks, from 75 to 125 in each. The 
bunks are ranged in three rows like immense shelves, one above the other, 
on each side, and in some cases across the ends, with some space on the 
floor between. These "cuddies" can be arranged so as to be quite com- 
fortable. The lower ones however labor under the disadvantage of having 
to take all the dust sweeping &c from those above. A very hot day again. 

of stone. Each building, about 300 i'eet long, was divided into compartments occupied 
by 400 prisoners. There were eight or ten rows of these buildings. Officers' barracks 
were separated from privates' quarters and no communication allowed between them. 
The whole was surrounded by a high plank wall with parapets on top for sentinel 
guards. It had been condemned as a prison because of the unhealthy location, yet the 
government continued to use it until the end of the war. George H. Moffett, "War Prison 
Experiences," Confederate Veteran (Nashville, Tennessee: 1893-1932), XIII (March, 
1905), 106-107. Randolph Abbott Shotwell also describes Point Lookout and Fort 
Delaware in J. G. De Roulhac Hamilton and Rebecca Cameron (eds.), The Papers 
of Randolph Abbott Shotwell (Raleigh: The North Carolina Historical Commission 
[State Department of Archives and History], 3 volumes, 1929-1936), II, 118-119, 131- 
134, hereinafter cited as Hamilton, Shotwell Papers. 

21 Money received by prisoners was held and checks were given to be honored by the 
sutler. There were many whose families were able to send them money, but those 
who were not so fortunate had to use their wits to avoid hunger. One major washed 
soiled clothes at five cents a piece. Shotwell says the profit of the sutler was often more 
than 500 per cent. Edward R. Rich, Comrades Four (New York, 1907), 143-144, here- 
inafter cited as Rich, Comrades Four; Hamilton, Shotwell Papers, II, 168. 



Diary of Francis A. Boyle 65 

Friday. July 15. The unusual time that has elapsed since an entry in my 
journal would indicate, I fear too truly an increase of laziness on my part. 
Such a life as this is even worse than ordinary camp life for the promotion 
of laziness. Beyond the calls of a sluggish conscience, there are positively 
no demands upon one's time. Cooking, eating, playing chess, and some- 
times the less noble game of backgammon and such reading as the before 
mentioned occupations and laziness in general leave time for occupy the 
day. As far as I am individually concerned, I cannot complain of ennui. The 
above occupations with the addition of writing to my numerous correspon- 
dents fully occupy my time. Said correspondents are a source of great 
pleasure to me. Receiving and writing letters form a pleasurable excite- 
ment. Almost the only events that prison life can boast are the reception 
of letters. I was made happy on the 6th (I think) by the reception of a 
letter from home, date of June 13, brought through to Bait. & mailed there. 
It acknowledged the recpt of mine of May 15 (written the day after our 
arrival at Pt. Lookout) also the convalescence of Col. C and the death 
of Col Lamb from his wounds 22 Since my last entry I have reed $10 from 
Mr. Bolton, $5 from R.W. Santos of Norfolk, & $10 from Uncle Richard, 23 
and letters from Miss Fitch, Miss A. Hemmick, 24 Mrs. Gertrude Palfrey, 
Mr. Bronson, Dr. Kerfoot & cousin Mary. The latter has sent me a box — 
reed in bad order part of the articles being stolen. Have also reed a box 
from Mr. Witmer Paradise, Pa. and another package of books from Dr. 
Kerfoot. The box from Mr. Tenny has never come to hand. Heard yester- 
day from Mr. Bowen. He wrote an intense Union letter, but somewhat to 
my surprise, said that he had made arrangements to send Latham his 
brother, Ben Norcum and myself $20 each, and would continue to send us 
what money we might need. 

Prison life remains pretty much the same. One of the prisoners a militia 
Colonel Jones, was shot by a sentinel for not "moving on" as quickly as he 
might as the Colonel was quite lame it is probable that he was not to blame. 
He was carried to the Hospital and died next day. 25 In consequence of the 
good new<s from the operations of our army, arriving Bait, and Washing- 
ton papers have been interdicted in camp but we manage to get the news 
and are all on tiptoe with anxious expectation. 26 The weather has been very 
hot and cooler by times. We have since last Sunday been meeting for the 
purpose of holding Family prayers reading the Bible, Psalter, etc at the 



82 Lieutenant Colonel John C. Lamb, Seventeenth North Carolina Infantry, who died 
of wounds received at Drewry's Bluff, May 17, 1864. Moore, Roster of North Carolina 
Troops, II, 39. 

23 Uncle Richard Plumbe, who sent money regularly. His name appears in some 
financial notes on the leaf preceding Boyle's diary. 

24 Annie Hemick of Baltimore, whom Boyle married after the war. Boyle to Gerould, 
May 17, 1904, Dartmouth Archives. 

25 Colonel Edward Pope Jones, One Hundred and Ninth Virginia Militia, of Middle- 
sex County, Virginia, who was captured May, 1863. Shotwell says, "Bill Douglass, the 
assassin, was promoted to sergeant for this crime." One hundred dollars was raised 
among the prisoners to send Col. Jones' body home, but permission to do so was re- 
fused. Hamilton, Shotwell Papers, II, 145-148. See also Isaac W. K. Handy, United 
States Bonds; or, Duress by Federal Authority (Baltimore, 1874), 473-476, 478, here- 
inafter cited as Handy, United States Bonds. 

26 "Good news" may refer to Early's successful raids around Washington when he 
threatened the city. 



66 The North Carolina Historical Review 

bunk of Captain Cantwell of Wilmington. 27 Only two or three of us meet 
regularly. I trust that we shall keep up the habit at any rate, and perhaps 
we may be able to read the service in public. The great trouble is to get a 
suitable place for the purpose. Heard from Bob Webb today. The poor 
fellow is I am afraid lonely and homesick. He complains of being unwell. 
We live pretty well now, as all of us have rec'd boxes. My mess recently 
formed consists of Barlow, a Kentuckian, Bairde, 28 a Missourian & myself. 

Wednesday August 3. One day in prison is so like another that the time 
passes away, one knows not how, & in consequence my entries are at more 
distant intervals than they should be. Last night an officer was drowned 
in attempting to make his escape, & another captured. 

I have received from Mr. Clay $10, & from Uncle Richard $10, both 
came yesterday. The former has sent me a box wh. I hope to get tomorrow. 
I now read service on Sunday morning and afternoon and have excellent 
congregations and very good responses. A Christian Association has just 
been formed for supplying wants of different kinds. I am Chairman of a 
Committee for the Procuring and Distributing Religious Reading. We have 
ascertained that about 300 Bibles & 200 Prayer Books are wanted in the 
Barracks, and have written to several persons soliciting contributions. We 
were thrown into a good deal of excitement a day or two since, by a sentinel 
ordering an officer engaged in no more obnoxious pursuit than reading 
aloud a newspaper just rec'd, to mark time at the point of his bayonet. The 
officer in charge of the camp Lt. Wolfe, being sent for rebuked the soldier 
severely, punished him and released the officer with an apology. This 
scoundrel was a deserter from N. Carolina. 

The weather for the past few weeks has been excessively hot and dry. 
No rain with the exception of two days for nearly a month. 

Monday Aug 8th. Still excessively hot. The Surgeons and Chaplains left 
yesterday on exchange. Services yesterday as usual. Heard from Cousin 
Mary on Saturday. She has expressed to me a box of provisions. Rec'd a 
box from Mr. Clay, containing boots, hat, carpet bag, and a fine variety of 
vegetables — potatoes, onions, beets, apples, cabbage &c all very acceptable. 
Wrote home yesterday by the Surgeons. 

Sunday August 21st. From date of last entry up to a week since the 
monotony of our life was not broken by anything worth recording. But 
the past week has been one of unusual excitement. First came the an- 
nouncement that 600 of us were to be sent to Charleston for — something 
but whether for retaliation or exchange was not so clear. Most of us how- 
ever, seemed to think it a sure road to Dixie — and those whose names were 



27 Colonel John L. Cantwell, Fifty-first North Carolina Infantry. Moore, Roster of 
North Carolina Troops, III, 448. 

88 W. B. Baird is recorded as a member of the Christian Association of Fort Delaware. 
The manuscript records (July, 1864-1865) of this association, also called the Con- 
federate States Christian Association for the Relief of Prisoners, are housed in the 
Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill, and 
will hereinafter be cited as Christian Association, Minutes. They include a list of 
members, constitution and bylaws, and minutes of meetings. Some of them were pub- 
lished in Handy, United States Bonds, 625-632. 



Diary of Francis A. Boyle 67 

selected were deemed lucky. It was expected that they were to leave im- 
mediately, but day after day has passed and not until today did they leave 
us. 29 

Sunday August 22. Prisoners here decidedly "come to grief." During the 
past week two orders have been posted materially affecting our interests. 
The first forbid all correspondence except with immediate relatives. This 
is in army parlance easily "flanked." Many a newly found "sister" has 
brought joy to the hearts of the rebels. But the next is a more serious 
matter. We are to receive no more boxes &c from our friends in retaliation 
it is said for the treatment of Yankee prisoners in the South. But the "un- 
kindest cut of all" is the shutting up of the Sutler. He has "closed doors" 
and left us to mourn. 

Sunday Aug 29. The Sutler has opened! But alas, only to sell needles 
pins thread stationery, &c &c. But we live in hopes that Yankee cupidity 
will yet evade the order and let us have something to eat. Received letters 
from several friends all regretting that the recent order prevents their 
supplying my wants. They cant be more sorry than I am. This order came 
a little too soon for my mess. A few days more and we should have received 
a sufficient supply for some months. As it is we have a pretty good stock of 
tea sugar coffee &c &c which will last for some time and as the rations 
issued to us have materially improved of late we manage still very well. 
We buy milk every morning, a pretty good article with not much water 
in it. 

We have just received a large awning made of a second hand sail, a 
present from a gentleman in Philadelphia, for holding our daily prayer 
meetings 30 It is very convenient and is daily filled to overflowing & a goodly 
crowd outside. Our services have been regularly attended and the effect is 
very encouraging. We used to hold service in one of the divisions, and the 
lack of room was a serious drawback. We have received two accessions to 
our numbers, the first crowd numbering over 100 arrived four days ago. 
They consist of captures from all parts of the army for the last two months. 

This is in gratifying contrast to the large number of us arriving at 
this delightful retreat during the early part of the campaign, The other 
batch of eight came in last night. These officers report all right in Dixie. 

Sept 14. I have recently received 3 letters from Uncle Richard contain- 
ing $5 — $5 — & $4 respectively. Total $14. Recent orders almost entirely 
prevent me from writing. I have heard of late from Miss Gibson and Maj. 
Lewis. 



29 These officers were not to be exchanged but were to be carried to Morris Island 
in Charleston Harbor and placed under the fire of Confederate guns in retaliation for 
treatment of fifty Federal officers who were sent to Charleston to be exposed to fire 
as a possible deterrent against the shelling of the city. Official Records, Series II, VII, 
185, 216-217, 567-568. 

80 The Christian Association raised $35 which was sent to Mrs. A. W. Emley of 
Philadelphia for the purchase of an awning, but a man named Demilt of New York 
presented a sail and Mrs. Emley returned the money. Christian Association, Minutes, 
August 2, 26, 1864; and Handy, United States Bonds, 624-625. 



68 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Yankee rascality has certainly reached its climax. In direct violation of 
the order from the Yankee Sec. of War our Sutler is selling us eatables 
and other contraband articles and charging us extra prices for the risk ! ! ! ! 
Of course this could not go on without the consent of Gen. Schoepf . 31 Sugar 
quoted in newspapers at 20 cts sold before the order referred to at 40 cts 
and now at 60 cts. Ham 20-30 & 45. Paper $1.00 per quire — just double — 
other things in proportion. Average profit 200 per cent. 

On Saturday last 26 citizens arrested in Loudon Co. Va arrived here, 
amongst them Gen. Asa Rogers, Rev. Mr. Kinsolving of the Episcopal Ch. 
& Rev. Mr. Harris, Baptist 32 There are no charges against these persons 
except perhaps the vague one of being bushwhackers. They are probably 
held as hostages for citizens alleged to be confined in Richmond. How long ! 
oh how long ! 

The weather is becoming very unfavorable for our comfort. Dull, gloomy 
days, a good deal of rain, and an atmosphere too cool and damp to allow 
our barn like barracks to be very comfortable abodes. Just such weather 
as would make a comfortable parlor, a good fire and pleasant society en- 
joyable. We are all in hopes still of an exchange ere the real cold weather 
sets in, though recent political developements in the North indicate that 
Lincoln will succeed in being re-elected without any such concession to 
the people as an exchange. Of course he will never let us go if he is not 
compelled to do so by popular clamor, for it would be equal to giving us so 
many men to fight our battles while the time of most of his men prisoners 
in the South has expired. Consequently he has no further use for them. 

A most excellent institution here is our "Christian Association." Had it 
not been for the recent restrictions imposed upon us this Association would 
have been the means of great good in every imaginable way. Its various 
committees were ascertaining and taking measures to supply by soliciting 
contributions from those persons who have been in the habit of supplying 
the wants of prisoners upon application, the various wants of all the 
prisoners. The Com. of wh. I am Chm. had already rec'd and distributed 
a large number of Bibles, Prayer books &c when our labors were almost 
entirely stopped by the order referred. Through much of its usefulness has 
thus been lost, it is still a source of interest and of good to its various mem- 
bers as our situation here enables it to attend to many matters of use 
to us. The Educational Committee, the Committee on Devotional Exercises 
and others of like character have still work to do. Much of the success of 
the Association is due to the energy and labors of its President Rev. Dr. 
Handy. This gentleman a victim of Federal oppression has been imprisoned 
here for more than 14 months for I may say no cause just or unjust. He 
has labored most faithfully and has done much good amongst his fellow 



31 General Albin Schoepf of Maryland, a native of Hungary, was the commanding 
officer at Fort Delaware. At the outbreak of the war he was a clerk, or draughtsman, 
engaged in the Federal Coast Survey of North Carolina. Shotwell hated him, but he 
was fairly well liked by some of the prisoners, to whom he represented himself as one 
powerless to make orders from above more lenient. Handy called him "a man of humane 
feelings but coarse in manner, and of variable temperament." Handy, United States 
Bonds, 28, 115-116; Hamilton, Shotwell Papers, II, 169, and passim. 

32 Reverend Ovid A. Kinsolving and Reverend George A. Harris. Handy, United States 
Bonds, 548. 



Diary of Francis A. Boyle 69 

prisoners. He has preached more than 300 sermons since his imprison- 
ment. 33 

Monday Sept 26. One of those changes in our prison discipline, which 
come upon us like changes in the weather, without any apparent cause, 
sometimes for the better, and at others for the worse — has just occurred, 
this time for the better. We have been unofficially informed that our cor- 
respondence will now be subject to no restraint save the old standard ones 
of examination and limitation to one page, excluding public matters. We 
are allowed too to receive clothing by special permit, the value of which 
privilege the increasing coolness of the weather warns us to appreciate. 
Yesterday was a blustering cold, windy day. Dr. Handy preached in one 
of the Divisions in the forenoon & Rev. Mr. Kinsolving read service in the 
Afternoon & Mr. Harris preached at night. 

I have neglected chronicling the departure a week since of 26 of our 
number, wounded men for Richmond, in Exchange. With many others I 
availed myself of the opportunity to write home. I have also written during 
the last day or two to all of my friends announcing the opportunity 
afforded of renewing our correspondence. Have recently received letters 
from home and from Mrs. Maigne as late dates as the 10th Inst. Write 
home again today. Am engaged in reading "History of the Reformation" 
by D'Aubigne; studying "Evidences of Christianity" by Alexander under 
Dr. Handy. I have also been reading several little Manuals setting forth 
the Doctrine and Discipline of the Roman Catholic Church. We are all 
rather blue over the news from Early and Sheridan. 34 

Tuesday, Oct. 18. Three weeks since my last entry. Well should I forget 
the few incidents of this time it would not much matter — except one or 
two. But in all they are not so many that there is much danger of their 
being forgotten. But after all I find on reflection that this period has served 
to alter the complexion of several incidents chronicled in the preceding 
pages. On the 1st Inst a sudden change in the weather took place. It became 
(for the season) intensely cold, or so it seemed to us with our insufficient 
bed covering, open barn like habitations and scant clothing. It was the first 
taste of real winter that we have had, and until we became accustomed to 
the change it was very unpleasant. It have gradually become milder, and 
we now have bright soft days and clear sharp, cool nights. The Divisions 
have been put upon a "winter footing" and by the closing of the open space 
in the roof left for ventilation and stoves are now being introduced. One 
stove, however large, will not however be sufficient to make us comfortable. 
I have taken to myself a new messmate who had a straw "tick" and plenty 
of blankets, so that we shall sleep warm at all events which is a great point 
gained. 

One very important event has occurred quite recently in our midst. Last 
Thursday Dr. Handy left us, his Exchange having been finally effected for 



83 Reverend Isaac William Ker Handy was a Presbyterian minister of Portsmouth, 
Virginia, who was arrested while visiting in Delaware for remarks he made about the 
United States flag. Handy, United States Bonds, 5-9. 

84 Early had been driven up the Shenandoah Valley by Sheridan and was defeated 
at Fisher's Hill. 



70 The North Carolina Historical Review 

a West Virginian named Culbertson. 35 He will be very much missed, for 
his labors have been the source of much good here. At the meeting of the 
Christian Association last Saturday suitable resolutions were introduced 
and adopted in reference to this event. 

We have for the past few weeks been having Morning instead of the 
Afternoon Service on Sunday read by Mr. Kinsolving in one of the Divi- 
sions. Owing to the coolness of the weather, the awning has been taken 
down and all prayer meetings are held in the Divisions alternately. Last 
Saturday week a very important recommendation passed the Christian 
Association, recommending that each of the Divisions have Family Prayers 
each evening, and a committee was appointed to confer with the chiefs of 
the divisions. The auspicious result has been that now Prayers are held 
nightly, in all the Divisions by unanimous consent of the officers. If the 
Association had never done any other good this would repay all the trouble 
of forming the Association. 

In consequence of the increasing coolness of the weather, the awning has 
been taken down & put away and prayer meetings &c are nightly held in 
each of the Divisions alternately. 

Friday, Oct 21 — A month ago we were all blue, very blue, about affairs 
generally. A more cheerful hue now pervades the prison. Recent military 
events look encouraging. I do not wish to make my diary an epitome of the 
news of the day, but this period may well be noticed as one of expectancy — 
cheerful expectancy generally. The news from Price is glorious so far. 
Hood so far as the ambiguous dispatches show is doing good work in 
Sherman's rear, 36 and we have just heard of the fight between Longstreet 
& Sheridan claimed it is true in the final result as a Federal victory. This 
may be so, but certainly meets with few believers amongst Confederate 
Prisoners, who are exceedingly sceptical on the subject of Yankee news. 

I believe that I have entirely omitted one feature of the "Christian 
Association." This is the inauguration about a month since of a series of 
addresses from officers invited by the Com. on Education to address tht 
Association. Capt. Sturdivant of Va. 37 delivered the first address, Gen. 
Vance, 38 the second, and last week Capt. Seaton Gales 39 of Gen. Ramseurs 
staff delivered the third. All these lectures bore more or less directly, upon 
the subject of Moral Progress. Capt. Gales address was specially worthy of 
note. Taking into consideration the circumstances under which it was pre- 



35 Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton had consented to release Handy in exchange 
for John P. Culbertson. Official Records, Series II, VII, 849-850. 

36 Sterling Price was actively engaged in Missouri ; Hood had raided Sherman's com- 
munications and begun the Tennessee campaign. 

37 Captain N. A. Sturdivant, Boggs' Virginia Artillery, was captured June 15, 1864, 
at Petersburg, Virginia. Roster of Confederate Soldiers of Virginia (manuscript), Vir- 
ginia State Library, Richmond, hereinafter cited as Virginia Roster of Confederate 
Soldiers. 

38 Brigadier General Robert B. Vance, commanding the Military District of Western 
North Carolina, was captured in the winter of 1864, while engaged in a movement in 
Tennessee. Handy, United States Bonds, 359-360; Clark, Histories of the North Caro- 
lina Regiments, IV, 379-380, 463. 

89 Major Seaton Gales, Assistant Adjutant General, Cox's Brigade, Second North 
Carolina Infantry, who was captured at the Battle of Fisher's Hill. Clark, Histories of 
the North Carolina Regiments, IV, 463. 



Diary of Francis A. Boyle 71 

pared (if prepared at all) and delivered, with no quiet, no books, it was 
remarkable. It was a beautiful production. Its tone elevated and its matter 
pure. I have received a letter from Uncle Richard enclosing $5. I hear still 
with tolerable regularity from most of my correspondents. 

Last week 116 officers left on Exchange — sick & convalescent. It is 
worthy of note that while some few really sick were left a large number 
were as well as could be. Most of them got off by bribing the Yankee 
Sergeants. Some paid $100 — some $50 — and so on — the highest price 
having the best chance — and first. We hear that 12 of these however, failed 
to pass the board at Pt. Lookout and were retained there. This can only 
be accounted for on the supposition that their money gave out. I wrote 
home by these officers — by one of them Capt. Chinn of La. — to Aunt Anne. 
Capt. C. owned and took with him the copy of D'Aubigne that I was read- 
ing, thus stopping my search after knowledge in that direction. I am now 
reading Gibbon & Pope. Weather still bright & cool nights. Warm days. 

Sunday November 6, 1864. Last night we had ice for the first time. A new 
squad left for the South a few days since and I deemed it fortunate that 
among them were persons going to those parts of the South where I have 
friends. Capt Sharp expects to go to Windsor. 40 I sent messages & letters 
home by him. Capt Sturdivant promised to see my cousins in Petersburg, 
whom it seems, he knows very well, and bear them tidings of me. On the 
first of the month stoves were put up in all the divisions. They are fine 
large ones and we have plenty of coal to burn in them. The upper bunks are 
particularly warm of course, on mild days too warm. These Yankees are a 
queer mixture. The great trouble about their treatment of prisoners is that 
they have no system everything being left to the disposition of those officers 
immediately in charge. They are so mendacious and deceitful that orders 
from their own superiors are not obeyed. If we complain of anything, the 
unfailing answer is that the Order is still more severe than their practice 
and that they are thus kinder than they ought to be. A day or two since 
they had a general examination of our blankets and took from us all but 
one each of U.S. blankets, and allowed each one to retain any private 
blankets they may have. I learn that there are many privates entirely with- 
out covering and they must suffer greatly this winter. There is no excuse 
for such retaliation as this. It must be plain to them that the Confederate 
government is unable to supply its prisoners with blankets, as its soldiers 
have not even a supply. 

Conducted prayer meeting last night, and attended service this morning 
as usual. 

Received this week from Mr. Southgate $25 & the promise of the same 
Am't soon in answer to my application and $20 from Benton & Sons. 

Have sent letters to Mrs. Palfrey & Miss Gibson for clothing. It is 
strange that Mr. Clay has never replied to my letters on this subject. Re- 
ceived some days ago an impudent letter from Norcross & Sheets refusing 
me any aid, as / was a rebel and did not deserve any. 

Received $25 from Mr. S. $50 in all recently. 



40 Captain William Sharp, Company D, Fifty-ninth North Carolina Cavalry, who 
was captured at Gettysburg. Moore, Roster of North Carolina Troops, III, 661. 



72 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Tuesday Nov 15, 1864. Heard Yesterday from Mrs. P. saying that my 
permit had been rec'd and box would be started immediately, but that the 
overcoat was marked off. What this may mean I cannot imagine. We have 
heretofore been allowed to receive overcoats but now that we most need 
them they are interdicted. It has become quite cold but the stoves keep the 
rooms quite warm. Rec'd Seddins ferrotype a new name for a new style of 
likenesses. 41 I am getting quite anxious to hear from home again. Poor old 
Plymouth has I see been retaken by the enemy. 42 We have about gotten 
over the shock of Lincoln's reelection, and made up our minds to indefinite 
war & imprisonment. Nevertheless exchange rumors prevail but I dont 
believe a word of them. 

Saturday, Dec 10th 1864 Nearly a month has elapsed since my last 
entry — a period unmarked by anything unusual to break the routine of our 
life. The enemy has made no demonstrations upon our peace and confort 
since the raid upon the blankets ; every day sees the same quantity of false 
reports, technically termed "grape," come into existence, mostly relative to 
exchange, and die out almost as soon as uttered. The rations have become 
if anything a little worse — several days no meat for dinner — and recently 
very little fresh beef has been issued, rusty pork or rustier corned beef 
taking its place. My correspondence continues unabated, a letter or more 
coming for me nearly every day. I have received from Mrs. P. Shirts, 
Pantaloons, Drawers, Over-Shirts, Hdkfs & Shoes. Part of these things 
Col. Benton furnished — the remainder Mrs. P. makes me a present of. Miss 
Gibson has sent me two very nice flannel over shirts. I am still trying to 
procure a permit to get my overcoat. 

Mr. Kinsolving has been in the hospital for a few days and Sunday be- 
fore last in his absence I read service, and the Sunday before assisted him 
in reading. Have received §5 from Uncle Richard since last entry. Rec'd a 
letter a week since from L. W. Hixon of Lowell a classmate of Brabble's 
enquiring as to the truth of the report of the latters death and asking for 
particulars if true. 43 I replied, and today rec'd a second letter from him 
expressing his regret and conveying a very feeling tribute to his worth, 
which I shall take good care of for the sake of his (B's) family. My time is 
more than ever occupied with reading. I have recently read Kirks Charles 
the Bold, part of Calvin Institutes and several novels. No news from home 
since Sept 2. The Christian Association is doing pretty well, though its 
usefulness is sadly limited by the restrictions upon our receiving supplies 
&c. Last Night an interesting report was read by a member of the Com. 
on the state of the Church, giving a history of religious progress amongst 
us from the coming here of the first prisoners in the early spring, up to the 
end of June. I must not omit a notice of the celebration of the Holy Com- 
munion by Rev'd Mr. Kinsolving in Div. 22, three weeks ago tomorrow. 



41 A positive photograph made by a collodion process on a thin iron plate, having a 
darkened surface. 

42 Plymouth, North Carolina, was retaken by Federal troops after the destruction 
of the "Albemarle.." October 27, 1864. Richard Rush, and Others (eds.), Official Records 
of the Union and Confederate Xavies in the War of the Rebellion (Washington, D. C. : 
Naval War Records Office, 30 volumes, 1894-1914)', Series I, X, 610-624. 

43 Colonel Edmund C. Brabble, Thirty-second North Carolina Infantry, was killed, May 
10, 1864, at Spotsylvania Court House. Moore, Roster of North Carolina Troops, II, 570. 



Diary of Francis A. Boyle 73 

About 50 persons communed. I was very unwell, having caught cold the day- 
previous, but was enabled to attend, but was confined to my bunk & blan- 
kets for the next two days — about the only illness I have been visited with 
since my imprisonment. Mrs. P. sent me several interesting books Collec- 
tions for the Curious and some half dozen pretty good modern novels. The 
first snow of the season fell last night and is rapidly melting today. It has 
been very cold for 2 days past, but is moderating. 

Tuesday Dec. 20, 1864. Weather for the past few days mild, damp & wet. 
Colder and clear to-day. We are all very blue over the news from Hood & 
Sherman. 44 What is the end to be ! I began today to take French Lessons 
under Col. Hooper of Ga. 45 On the 18th a large number, about 70, of officers 
came in, among them Lt. P. H. Winston, Jr. of the 11th Regt formerly Sgt 
Major of the 32d. 46 He brings me news from home as late as Oct. 15. All 
well then. Permits have again been stopped, I suppose because a large 
quantity of clothing from the Confederate government is expected here 
soon. The estimates has already been furnished for this clothing. 

Sunday, Dec. 25, 1864 Christmas Day at Fort Delaware ! The fourth one 
away from home, three a soldier in the field, the fourth a prisoner! Will 
yet another see this state of things? I pray not. A bright and beautiful day, 
though clouding up in the afternoon. Mr. Kinsolving read the service in 
this Div. (25) this morning. We made our Christmas dinner of a can of 
Tomatoes and a bread & molasses pudding. The Yankees gave us a double 
ration of bread for breakfast — just about the quantity they ought to give 
every day. They did the same generous deed on Thanksgiving day. We are 
all gloomy enough over the news from Sherman and Hood. Rec'd $10 from 
Uncle R. 

Tuesday Jan 10, 1865 A New Year entry certainly ought to have graced 
(?) my pages. But let this be instead thereof. Still no news from home. 
A very short line and easy to write, but expressing how much of anxiety 
and sickness of heart ! The Christian Ass'n has elected officers for the next 
three mos. Gen Vance, Pres't & myself to the office of Recdg Secy. General 
Rogers has gone to Richmond to effect the exchange of his party & in the 
mean time Mr. Kinsolving has found a more comfortable place than the 
barracks at the hospital where he nominally assists Mr. Paddock Hospital 
Chaplain in his duties. 47 The weather is very changeable alternate freeze 
& thaw, rain and sunshine. We are very comfortable (my chum and I) 
having fixed up our share of the third story shelf that we occupy quite 
snugly. I am occupying myself quite closely with my studies having been at 
last enabled to devote my time pretty constantly to them — a great difficulty 
at first. I generally rise at 8, (all our time being regulated by guess) cook 



"Sherman had marched to Savannah, December 1-14; Hood had been defeated at 
Nashville, December 1-16. 

43 Colonel T. W. Hooper. Christian Association, Minutes, October 25, 1864. 

46 Lieutenant Patrick Henry Winston, Jr., Company C, Eleventh North Carolina In- 
fantry, was from Bertie County. Moore, Roster of North Carolina Troops, I, 384. 

47 Reverend William H. Paddock, was Federal Chaplain at Fort Delaware. Handy, 
United States Bonds, 115, 126, 187-188, and passim. 



74 The North Carolina Historical Review 

& eat breakfast till 9 — devotions one hour — till one occupied miscellane- 
ously — then French till 3 p.m. including recitation. Dinner, cooking (my 
chum does the washing up) & eating till 4 — exercise till 5, and History & 
whatever writing I have to do till 12. Am now reading Motleys Dutch 
Republic and D'Aubigne's "Reformation." 

Wednesday Jan. 18, 1865 I have to record a sample of Yankee incon- 
sistency today. I am very much vexed but have only the recording thereof 
upon these pages to comfort me. It seems that our quarters were not quite 
clean enough to suit the critical eye of Capt. Ahl lately so the Ser- 
geants were sent to seize upon all the shelves, boxes, &c that they could 
find, thus depriving those of us most disposed to do so, of the means of 
keeping things clean and in order. 48 We manged to conceal a good many 
boxes plank stools small tables &c under our floor, some of which were 
discovered. My corner just fixed up so snugly presented a sad scene. Sent 
message to Jno. Tucker by surgeons leaving today on exchange [evidently 
written in afterward] Everything tumbled down on the floor & the shelves 
on wh. they ought to have been hid beneath the planks of the Division 
Floor. I have gotten things somewhat straight again, after the loss of two 
or three days time but how long our friends will allow them to remain so, 
is still to be seen. They vow that they are determined to make us keep clean, 
so today we have had a grand scouring. I learn that Gen Rogers and Revd 
Mr. Kinsolving have obtained for themselves an unconditional release from 
the Prest. I have received this week from Mrs. Palfrey a package containing 
overcoat, hat, knife, books, chessmen, &c &c &c. From Uncle Richard $5. 
From Dr. S. W. Hixon Lowell $3. We are having some of the coldest 
weather yet felt this winter. The river as far as we can see it is full of 
floating ice. The current is so strong when the tide ebbs & flows that it 
cannot remain frozen entirely across. Last night Capt Gales gave us 
another lecture on the "Influence of Woman," the only fault which was that 
it was too short. There is to be a debate tonight in 22 — subject an old one 
"Form of Government which is preferable? Monarchy or Republicanism." 
This is the first thing of the kind attempted here. A new feature has been 
introduced into the regular meetings of the Chn Asson. A contribution 
from some member is read by the Secretary, or some member delivers a 
short address, or in the absence of both a selected article is read. 

Wednesday Jan 25, 1865 I must record a bright day in my journal. In 
the language of the newspapers "4 months later from Home" 3 letters 
from Mary dated in Oct. one from the same in Nov. and one from "Sissie" 
H. 49 Dec. 27, giving the gratifying news that all are well. I feel indeed 
thankful that my dear ones so far have been mercifully spared, and it 
gives me renewed hope that the same Providence that has been thus so 
kind will enable us to meet again on earth. 

Strange that no letters come from Windsor. Mary sends me Mrs. Smith's 



48 Captain George W. Ahl, Assistant Adjutant and Inspecting Officer, Fort Delaware. 
He exerted more authority over the prisoners than General Schoepf and was hated by 
them. Official Records, Series II, VII and VIII, passim; Hamilton, Shotwell Papers, 
II, 169. 

49 His sister, Harriet Sophia Boyle, born in 1841, who married Brinkley C. Howell 
in 1871. Baptismal and marriage records (manuscript), Grace Church, Plymouth, 



Diary of Francis A. Boyle 75 

address to whom I have just written. The papers speak of an unpre- 
cedented rise on the Roanoke said to be eight inches higher than ever 
before. Received a small dictionary from Cousin Mary. 

I have just been for three days to the hospital and have had enough of 
that institution. A feast on what under other circumstances would have 
been a very harmless dish, viz. fried potatoes brought on a violent fit of 
indigestion on Friday last and on Sunday I was obliged to go to the Hos- 
pital. A timely course of medicine prevented any further ill effects and 
after a few days dieting I today returned to my quarters, very glad to get 
back to them, though in a prison. Everything it seems is only bad or good 
by comparison. The Hospital arrangements on this Island are in many 
respects, good, but the supply of food is entirely insufficient for many 
patients. Convalescents and men with wounds that rapidly exhaust the 
system are in common with those who require less, fed upon % of a pound 
loaf per day or 3 slices of said loaf, very light, spongy, innutritious and 
dry, and a few mouthfuls of unsweetened coffee at breakfast, a cup of thin, 
very thin soup at dinner, and at night a cup of gruel. During my three days 
stay this was all the patients on full diet received, except once a small piece 
of cold beef & twice sl very small quantity of mush (one time with about a 
spoonful of molasses upon it.) The patients must stay in bed from 9 p.m. 
till six a.m. although in my narrow iron bedstead I was nearly frozen. The 
wards are kept very clean and are under rigid discipline. Each ward is 
warmed by 4 stoves (enough in ordinarily cold weather) and contain about 
30 or 40 beds. On entering, each patient is required to strip off his clothing 
(which is bundled up, labeled and put away) and after bathing to put on 
clean cotton underclothing and under no circumstances is he allowed to 
resume any part of his outer clothing till he leaves the Hospital. This is 
not convenient to those who sit up, but perhaps for general health, desir- 
able. The Barracks are much agitated with news flying round. First comes 
the fall of Fort Fisher to depress us, 50 then the flag of truce mail to cheer 
us, and now the rumors of exchanges, seemingly assuming a more definite 
form than ever, debates in Yankee Congress to retaliate upon us unfortu- 
nates, Peace negotiation, &c &c &c keep us in a perfect mist of doubt and 
speculation, & produce not a few warm arguments. While at Hospital I 
read an interesting book from the Library there, "Science a Witness for 
the Bible" by the Revd (Gen) W. N. Pendleton. Our French teacher has 
gone to the Hospital leaving us without recitations since Saturday Jan 21st. 
Since commencing we have before missed in all 5 recitations. At the last 
Asson meeting $35 was raised to buy books for persons wishing to study & 
unable to purchase books, & about $50 more have been raised throughout 
the barracks. Still very cold & plenty of snow. 

Sunday Jan 29, 1865 I am suffering from a practical illustration of the 
proverb "Great oaks from little acorns grow." A few days since rubbing 
my instep produced a slight abrasion of the skin. It became soon inflamed 
and I am now a close prisoner to my bunk, being unable to bear my weight 
on my foot. Captain Dwight read since last Sunday in my absence and he 



50 Fort Fisher, guarding the last harbor open to blockade-running, fell on January 
15, 1865. 



76 The North Carolina Historical Review 

again is reading this morning. 51 Yesterday was an exceedingly cold day, 
the coldest so far this winter. Letters from home still come in shoals, but 
no late dates. 5 came yesterday. Received two books from Miss Lizzie H. 
Finish tomorrow the History of the Rise of the Dutch Republic. Lt. Bullitt 
delivered a very neat little address on Friday before the Ch. Asso. subject, 
Siege of Leyden. 52 Wrote today to Mrs. Phillips, England, also wrote home. 

Monday Jan 30, 1865 Commenced French again today. Am mainly en- 
gaged in preparing an address to be delivered befor the Assoc, next Fri- 
day week. Subject, "The Human Aspects of the Bible." Have been making 
a review of the style in wh. I have lived since a prisoner. During the first 
month at Point Lookout the purchase of underclothing, little conveniences 
for cooking & eating, and the indulging in such unaccustomed rarities as 
shown in the acct kept at the time caused my expenses to run up to $60 
per month. The month after reaching here we received a number of delica- 
cis in boxes and only spent $15. After Brand left & boxes were stopped, it 
cost $30 per month of wh Barlow paid very little. Since messing with 
Maynadier, 53 we have averaged about $25 or $12% each per month and 
intend for the future if prices do not rise to spend about $10 each on mess 
expenses. It costs about $4 per month each for tea, coffee & sugar. Our 
present bill of fare is pretty uniform, thus Breakfast, hash made of rations 
of beef & potatoes seasoned with onions & a cracker to thicken, and 
coffee. Dinner, either the ration plain with tea, or mush & molasses. For a 
rarity, toast at breakfast & a pudding made of bread and molasses at 
dinner. Very seldom do we have anything else. Sometimes, a slice of ham, 
a bit of cheese, or once in a long time a can of tomatoes or oysters for 
Christmas, birthday or the like. Weather decidedly milder. Foot still sore 
but improving. Several large boxes of blankets &c have been received for 
the needy and Cols. Maury 54 and Hooper are paroled to distribute this and 
what is expected from N. York Consequently French stops again Feb. 6. 

Thursday Feb. 9, 1865 A heavy snow storm, rain, sleet, wind & thaw, 
and fine weather again is the record of the last few days. 

We have had a period of unusual excitement, and with some cause. The 
peace negotiations, at least the first phase of them, are over, leaving some 
too sanguine ones very blue. But ere this was settled, came the startling 
announcement of a general exchange! Even those who had been victims of 
the peace mania were incredulous. But the authority is incontrovertible 
Gen. Schoepf told Col. Maury. If the Gen. be not indulging in the the favo- 
rite occupation of the Yankees, & if no new complication arises, we may 
hope to see "home sweet home" once more. We hear that 3,000 privates 
are already paroled & ready to leave. 



51 Captain W. M. Dwight, Second Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers of Winnsboro, 
South Carolina. Autograph following Boyle diary. 

52 Lieutenant Thomas W. Bullitt, Second Kentucky Cavalry, Morgan's command. 
Autograph following Boyle diary. 

63 John Maynadier, Private, Company K, First Virginia Cavalry. Autograph follow- 
ing Boyle diary. 

64 Lieutenant Colonel J. M. Maury served in the Virginia Artillery. Virginia Roster 
of Confederate Soldiers. 



Diary of Francis A. Boyle 77 

Sunday, Feb. 12, 1865. Read service in Div. 22, and a sermon by Bp 
Atkinson entitled What is Truth ? A most unpleasant day the coldest of the 
winter, the wind blowing a gale and snowing the whole day most furiously. 
For a day or two past we have been entirely without water owing to some 
derangement of the machinery used to force it into the tanks, and have 
been compelled to thaw snow & ice and even to use the by no means clean 
water from the moats, impregnated with soap-suds &c. But the incon- 
venience has been too transient to annoy us much. The ground, owing to 
the high wind is nearly bare of snow, it being drifted in the corners in 
heaps. For the first time since being in prison I am out of money, though 
some being due on mess ace. and having some provisions on hand prevents 
me from feeling entirely destitute. Rec'd on Saturday a French Grammar 
and Wells Philosophy from Miss Hattie Fitch. Letters from home up to 
Jan 7. Heard also from my Petersburg cousins a day or two since. Have 
written home by the officers now waiting the breaking up of the ice to 
depart. Begun Robertson's Charles V, but the owner going South I have 
had to give it up. Shall begin D'Aubigne again. Have just read Dr. Ives 
Trials of a mind and am studying now Foster's Book-keeping. 

Sunday Feb 19, 1865 We have had several days of warm rain and open 
pleasant weather alternately causing the ice to disappear from the river. 

We are all much interested in this for the ice has prevented the boats 
coming for us to go on exchange. We are all much excited on this point of 
course. It is now said that orders have been received to parole all the 
prisoners on the island. The privates are still being paroled but none in 
the officers barracks except the small party already mentioned who have 
not yet left. We see accounts in the papers of our men passing from various 
prisons through Baltimore on their way to City Point, and of Yankees 
being returned for them. Exchange is the one engrossing topic. Some fear a 
sudden stop thereto even yet, while others are sanguine of an entire ex- 
change. Certainly the pressure upon the Yankee government must be 
intense to cause them thus to recruit our armies. Am reading "D'Aubigne" 
& Philosophy. 

Received $5 again from Uncle Richard. Heard again from Miss Gibson. 
The Sutler shop has been open today in order, I suppose, to sell the more in 
expectation of our early departure. The barracks have been filled to their 
utmost capacity by frequent accessions of small parties. There are now 
about 1400 in these barracks. Heard again from home up to Jan 11th. The 
Sutler has been keeping flour for sale and making biscuits, etc. is all the 
rage. 

Monday, Feb 20, 1865 Excitement increasing. An order has just come in 
for all having watches or Confederate money in the hands of the authori- 
ties to come forward and get them. I reed a letter enclosing $5 from Hixon 
this morning. 

The weather is very pleasant. Just cool enough not to be unseasonable. 
It would almost seem to be the opening of Spring. Just such weather as 
we often have at home at this season. Read service yesterday in Div. 28. 
Two officers have been paroled to attend to the distribution of clothing, 



78 The North Carolina Historical Review 

blankets & tobacco, proceeds of the 1,000 bales of cotton sent by govern- 
ment from Mobile to New York. These goods are now here but not yet 
distributed. 55 

Saturday, Feb 25, 1865 Still fine, pleasant weather and still we wait in 
vain for the departure of the first batch of prisoners. We hear that they 
are leaving Johnstons Island in considerable numbers. This suspense is 
worse than imprisonment. 

We are anxiously waiting too for news from the South. So far as we 
know the aspect of things there looks badly for our cause. The only hope 
that any entertain is that Beauregard may turn upon and drive back 
Sherman. 56 Many have not even this hope. Disasters have come so thick 
upon as that before the mind has well received one, another comes to shock 
and stupify. Out of money for the 1st time in prison. 

Sunday, Feb 26, 1865 A real Spring day. Bright and warm. Read service 
in Div. 34 this morning. All the Virginia citizens taken as hostages with 
Gen. Rogers some time since were taken out today and offered the oath. 
All but four or five took it. One of the gentlemen refusing to do so, tells me 
that he believes that the exchange of the whole party has been effected, and 
that this is a trick to induce the young men who would on reaching Rich- 
mond, be conscripted, to take the oath and to substitute in their places 
other citizens over age and therefore useless to our government. The 
paroled party after waiting all day are now positively informed that they 
leave to-morrow. I have sent letters home by Capt Dwight & to Cousin 
Jennie by Adjt Blackwell of Petersburg and also messages by Capt. Wolf. 57 
The latter gentleman was an old acquaintance of my father during his 
residence in Petersburg, and though we have been imprisoned together 
since June last, he never knew of my paternity until I today requested him 
to call on my cousins. Heard yesterday from Mrs. Palfrey and Cousin Mary 
and rec'd $25 from Benton & Sons. Sent messages to John Tucker and 
Mrs Maigne by Lt Southgate. Quite a number of my acquaintances leave 
in this boat. Met yesterday Maj. Taylor of Norfolk whom Cousin Mary 
has often mentioned. 58 

Monday Feb. 27th. Another beautiful day. Early this morning about 125 
officers and 1300 men left on Exchange. It is now said that about 2000 per 
week will leave here till all are exchanged. At this rate it will take one 
month to get us all off. 



65 Cotton had been sent to New York via Mobile Bay to be sold for the purchase 
of uniforms and blankets for the use of Confederate prisoners, who had been deprived 
of all blankets except one each. Official Records, Series II, VIII, 241-242; Hamilton, 
Shotwell Papers, II, 181-182. 

56 Sherman was moving north from Columbia, South Carolina, on February 20. 
Beauregard was in command of the new Military District of the West which extended 
from the Atlantic Coast to the Mississippi, but had only a scattering of troops under 
his orders. 

57 Captain James E. Wolff, Company B, Second Virginia Militia. Autograph follow- 
ing Boyle diary. 

58 Major Richard C. Taylor, who commanded a Virginia Artillery Battalion, was 
wounded and made prisoner at Fort Harrison, September 29, 1864. John W. H. Porter, 
Record of Events in Norfolk County, Va. (Portsmouth, Virginia: 1892), 31. 



Diary op Francis A. Boyle 79 

For some time past it has been impossible to read or to study. The con- 
stant excitement and suspense regarding our exchange, and the bad news 
from the South &c &c &c all has conspired to keep our minds in a state 
entirely unfit for doing anything. I play chess a good deal and loaf around 
to hear the latest "grape" the rest of the time. This is the general occupa- 
tion. 

Sunday March 5, 1865 Another bright and pleasant day. Some hard rain 
during the past week and yesterday a regular March wind. Two lots of 
officers are now paroled waiting for transports to take them off — about 
200 in all ; amongst them Lt. Bond who goes to the neighborhood in which 
Dr. Hardison lives. 59 As a good many Gettysburg prisoners are being 
taken, my time will probably come ere long. Have heard during the week 
from Uncle R. enclosing $10 — Cousin Fannie P. Mrs Palfrey enclosing 
photographs of Mrs. and Miss W. to be sent by me to Mr. Watson, and 
from Miss G. Met yesterday Capt Cherry captured in Jan. in Bertie 60 also 
Col. Clark captured Feb 5 at Dinwiddie C. H. 61 Another officer from my 
regt. Lt Winston also just came here. Captured last Aug 

Yesterday morning a young man whose bunk immediately adjoins mine, 
so close indeed that as we lie at night we touch, was taken to the hospital 
with the small pox broken out upon him. It is strange how indifferent one 
becomes to such risk when it is unavoidable. No one seems to mind seeing 
an officer lie in a crowded division containing over 100 men until the 
disease makes its appearance upon him, when he is leisurely removed to the 
hospital. This summer it has made its appearance all around me, but never 
quite so close before. Although hundreds of cases are treated here there 
have been very few deaths from this cause, only one or two officers that I 
have heard of. It is as wonderful as fortunate that it does not spread more 
than it does. 

Wednesday, March 8th 1865 One lot of paroled officers left yesterday. 
Another is still waiting. It is said that a delay of a few days will now be 
made on account of the too great number accumulated at City Point. The 
remainder of the Loudon Co. citizens, including Messrs Harris, Gallaher 62 
&c. went off yesterday to Richmond Most of this party have taken the oath 
and gone home directly to avoid conscription in Richmond One of these, a 
sorry specimen Simmons by name, on refusing to be exchanged was 
severely threatened by some officers of his division with hanging, and 
finally they tossed him in a blanket and turned him out of doors. He com- 
plained to the Yankees, whereupon the three officers principally engaged in 
the affair, were taken out, severely reprimanded and then carried into the 
"pen" occupied by the "galvanized" or oath takers and tossed by them in 
a blanket by way of retaliation for half an hour. 63 



59 This may be Dr. Hardy Hardison who married Hannah Maria Boyle, December 13, 
1842. Marriage records (manuscript), Grace Church, Plymouth. 

80 Captain J. O. Cherry, Company B, Fourth North Carolina Battalion (Cavalry). 
Moore, Roster of North Carolina Troops, IV, 244. 

61 Colonel William J. Clarke, Twenty-fourth North Carolina Infantry. Moore, Roster 
of North Carolina Troops, II, 288. 

w F. L. Galleher. Handy, United States Bonds, 582. 

63 The "galvanized" term applied to those who not only took the oath of allegiance to 



80 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The weather is mild, soft and springlike. 

I am reading "End of a controversy" by Milner, and Cardinal Wiseman's 
lectures, & have just finished D'Aubigne, Cobbetts' history of English Re- 
formation, Pope and Maginnis Debates and have taken up French again. 
My foot has hardly become entirely well yet. It has been a very obstinate 
affair for so small a one. 

Wednesday March 15, 1865 Last Sunday 450 officers arrived from South 
Carolina. They are the same that were sent from here last summer. Of the 
remaining 150 about 30 have died, 20 taken the oath and 100 been ex- 
changed. Their sufferings have been awful. 64 By way of retaliation they 
were kept upon one pint of miserable wormy sour meal and pickles per day 
for 45 days. Some actually starved to death upon this diet. Many others 
have been afflicted with scurvy in its worst form, some still dying from its 
effects, and all whom I have seen show their bad treatment plainly. At one 
time one-half their number were unable to rise from their beds. This diet 
was continued even after many had been sent to the hospital in little better 
than a dying condition. After reaching Hilton Head they were kept for 
three weeks on board ship below decks in a most filthy and horrible condi- 
tion. They were then placed in a stockaded pen immediately under the guns 
of the Yankee battery. Besides being subject to the fire of friends, the 
Yankee gunners would cut the fuses of their shells short, so that they might 
explode over the stockade in which our men were confined. But very few 
casualties occurred. They were guarded by brutal negroes, who fired upon 
them several times. Part of the number were removed to Fort Pulaski and 
there kept all winter with no fire except for cooking, in damp casemates, 
very much crowded. One officer told me that he was locked up one night 
before he could cook his meal and so hungry was he that he mixed it with 
cold water and ate it so. All the cats were killed and eaten that they could 
catch, and one was eaten that had gnawed off the nose of a corpse in the 
dead house the night before. The condition of the meal can be imagined 
from the fact that one hundred and thirty worms were picked out of days 
rations (a pint) and the owner only stopped picking them for fear of thus 
losing his whole ration. They were finally sent to Norfolk whence they 
expected exchange, but were sent back here to take their turn, I suppose, 
according to the date of capture with the rest of us. Amongst the number 
returned here are all my old friends and acquaintances, Charley Brand my 
old messmate 65 Nat. Latham has returned to me my long letter to my 
mother and the one sent to Mrs. Hunter by Miss Hattie F. It is now said 
that the whole number will be speedily exchanged. There cannot be less 
than 1500 officers in these barracks. During the past week a large quantity 
of tobacco has been received here. Everybody is luxuriating in plenty of 
what has been so scarce. Individuals have from 20 to 150 lbs Heard from 
Miss G. today. The sutler who has been selling very inferior stuff at about 
$3 per lb, offers the owners of this most of it a very excellent article, from 

the Federal government but also enlisted in the Federal army and wore its uniform. 
They were not allowed to leave the island. Hamilton, Shotwell Papers, II, 155. 

64 Their story is told in John J. Dunkle, Prison Life During the Rebellion (Singer's 
Glen, Virginia: 1869), 48. 

65 Lieutenant George C. Brand of Holly Springs, Missouri. Handy, United States 
Bonds, 643. 



Diary of Francis A. Boyle 81 

50 cts to $1 per lb. and as some of the owners are almost paroled they must 
sell at these rates or lose it altogether. If we were going to remain here 
any length of time, the sutler would not get any of it. Said sutler has come 
down in the tariff of prices on account, he says, of the fall of gold. Butter 
60 cts instead of 90, sugar 50 vice 60, coffee $1 vice 120, other articles about 
the same as before. He has stopped keeping meal and flour and sells instead 
small loaves of bread at 10 cts each. A good change for him. I have received 
$20 in two instalments from Uncle Richard. 

Thursday March 16, 1865 Lt Shank who was taken from the next bunk 
with small-pox is nearly dead. His life is despaired of. His case was of the 
worst kind, called black smallpox, and if he recovers, or rather if he has 
recovered (for he may be already dead) it will be the first case of the kind 
that has been successfully treated here. 66 Heard again from Lidden. She 
has been quite sick for some time past. She says that Mr. M. has continued 
to send me papers regularly, but I have received none. I get very few 
letters or papers now, as my friends doubtless think that I am exchanged 
or will be very soon. We had a violent storm last night of wind hail & rain. 

Sunday March 19, 1865 Poor Shank died yesterday. This will be sad 
news for his young wife. He was one of those quiet, modest and yet upright 
natures so rarely seen in the world. The man next him on the other side 
has gone out today to the hospital; whether he has smallpox or not does 
not yet appear. This is a charming day. Indeed this has been a most re- 
markable March. It is like May at home. Read service this morning, quite 
a large number attended, many more than for some past. Tomorrow we 
are to move out for whitewashing. We have not been troubled by our 
guardians for some time in this way or indeed in any other. An order has 
been issued prohibiting the owners from selling their tobacco. Why does 
not appear. 

Saturday April 1st 1865 A cool windy day. During the past week we 
have had real March weather but the rest of the month was like May. 
Yesterday about 100 more officers came in, mostly Fort Steadman cap- 
tures. 67 One officer from the 32d Lt Mitchell 68 among them and several 
from the Brigade. Major Demill was also in this arrival. 69 He was captured 
at Greenville in Feb. by a raiding party. He has taken the place next me 
vacated by Lt Shanks death. Another officer Capt Sellers of Kentucky has 
gone to the hospital with smallpox. He lay just on the other side of Lt 
Shank. This makes three cases in this little corner, why the rest of us do 



68 Gabriel Shank, Ensign, Tenth Virginia Infantry, of Harrisonburg, Virginia, Auto- 
graph following Boyle diary. 

67 Fort Stedman was a square earthwork located east of Petersburg. The Confederates 
made an unsuccessful attempt to break the Federal lines here and open a way to send 
aid to General Johnston on March 25, 1865. Many prisoners were taken. Philip Van 
Doren Stern, An End to Valor (Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1958), 
62-81. 

68 Lieutenant John H. Mitchell, Company G, Thirty-second North Carolina Infantry, 
was from Bertie County. Moore, Roster of North Carolina Troops, II, 588. 

69 Major William E. Demill was received as an active member of the Christian As- 
sociation on April 7, 1865. Christian Association, Minutes. 



82 The North Carolina Historical Review 

not have it is indeed incomprehensible. These barracks are now very much 
crowded. There are over 1800 officers in 16 rooms or Divisions, averaging 
in size 50 x 20. Each man has a space 6 X 2 for lying, sitting & everything 
in fact, besides the use of the floor between the bunks 8 X 50 in common 
with 130 others. We held last night our election for the next three months 
for officers of the Ch. Association. I was elected 1st Vice President. An 
organization of officers have of late been giving concerts in the mess hall, 
the proceeds for the benefit of sick & destitute officers. 2 concerts have 
already been given, at the first about $100 were raised. 

Wednesday, April 5, 1865 The fall of Richmond. This is of course the all 
engrossing topic now. Many and varied are the comments, need I say that 
they are generally of a desponding character? Further news is anxiously 
looked for by all. 

I rec'd yesterday letters — one from home Feb. 14, the first for some time 
and from Mrs. Palfrey enclosing two photographs of herself, one for me 
the other for Mr. P. The weather is still bright and pleasant. 

Received $10 from Mr. Clay $5 of it sent by Mr. Bolton. Heard from 
Hixon again. The weather is cool rainy and gloomy in good accord with 
the news. Everybody is discussing our prospects and it is impossible to do 
any studying. 

Wednesday April 12th 1865 The news of the surrender of Gen. Lee's 
army falls like a clap of thunder upon us — even those who feared and ex- 
pected this thing are astonished, even stupefied, at the terrible news. 
Though a very few affect to consider that there is still some hope for our 
cause they can neither deceive themselves nor any one else. Gen Lee was 
the last hope — with him goes everything. An order has just been posted 
allowing us to send again for boxes of provisions &c, the whole permit 
system has been abandoned. This is a great help to us. Prison is now almost 
unendurable. We feel that there is no use remaining here longer than we 
can help. 

Sunday (Easter) April 16, 1865 Major Demill read the service for us in 
Div. 23. Quite a large number attended. The sad fate of President Lincoln 
affects us greatly, but though I trust we all feel proper abhorrence for the 
deed the principal cause of our feeling the matter so strongly is the ques- 
tion of how it will affect us. Of the results of the change from Lincoln to 
Johnston for the country generally I have here [no] room to speak. The 
effect in prison is already marked. Our mails are stopped, the newly re- 
stored privilege of receiving supplies from friends taken away, the ar- 
rangement by which some of us received ready cooked meals from the 
Sergeant of the kitchen broken up, and on the days the news was received 
orders were issued to fire upon anyone who expressed satisfaction at the 
news. 70 The prevailing impression however is that by degrees things will 



70 Rich says, "Not a sound of exultation was heard, not a word commendatory of 
the act was ever even whispered." Rich, Comrades Four, 179-180. Shotwell says, "The 
general feeling among the prisoners is sincere regret." Hamilton, Shotwell Papers, II, 
196. 



Diary of Francis A. Boyle 83 

resume their accustomed routine. What is of more importance than all else 
there is now no hope of effecting our release on parole or even on oath of 
allegiance until perfect peace shall have been restored, and when that will 
be there's no telling. I find it very difficult to pay attention to anything — 
even to my daily French lesson — the grand interest is in hunting up news, 
which is very scarce as newspapers are interdicted. 

Sunday April 23, 1865 Read the service to-day. I have at last finished 
Cardinal Wisemans lectures. It has been very hard (and still is) to attend 
to anything except a newspaper or a novel. My state of mind is indeed an 
unenviable one. The Sutler shop has been moved and enlarged, the barracks 
of the "galvanized" men emptied of their occupants and turned into ours 
giving us additional room, wh would be very desirable, did it not indicate 
that we are not to be released for some time to come, and everything con- 
curs to show that our day of deliverance is not yet. The mail and other 
privileges are being restored and things assuming their normal routine. 

Sunday April 30, 1865 An important week has just passed. Last Sunday 
all the field and Staff officers were removed to the barracks formerly 
occupied by men under probation to take the oath. These had been thorough- 
ly cleaned and the men removed to the privates barracks. Being less 
crowded and off somewhat from the rest they are cool and quiet. This page 
must contradict the last. Much sooner than I or anyone here had antici- 
pated, the offer to the prisoners of the amnesty oath has been made. The 
privates accepted it en masse there being out of the whole number, say 
6,000, not more than a dozen refusing and these last are said to have at 
last yielded, and out of about 2,000 officers 1680 is said to be the exact 
number applying. Many refused when publicly called on, but sent in their 
names afterwards. Yesterday we heard of Johnstons surrender of all the 
troops east of the Chattahoochee. Thus end the Confederacy! We hope to 
leave now in a very short time. On Thursday 300 officers, amongst them 
Maj. Lewis and my old orderly Sgt of the Macon Vols Irving reached 
here 71 They were sent for exchange from Johnstons Island, stopped about 
a month at Pt. Lookout on ace of active operations commencing at Peters- 
burg, and now sent here. I have recently heard from Mrs. Palfrey, Uncle 
Richard, & Hixon. Major Demill and I now mess together, as my old chum 
Maynadier had to remain in the upper barracks. 

May 4. Mrs. Palfrey sent me a box of provisions some time since which 
has doubtless been confiscated as it has never been delivered. Received from 
Mr. Clay $25, $15 from Mr. B. and $10 from himself. Another opportunity 
has been given to take the oath and only 160 refuse to do so — of these 60 
have petitioned since to be allowed to take it. 

Sunday May 6, 1865 A pleasant day. Col. Clarke & Maj Demill read 
service in this Div. to a large congregation. We have had during the past 



71 Sergeant John B. Irving, Company F, Thirty-second North Carolina Infantry. 
Moore, Roster of North Carolina Troops, II, 586. 



84 The North Carolina Historical Review 

week several very cool unpleasant and rainy days. No definite news yet of 
release — this suspense is very trying. Everyone admits that during the 
past week they have suffered more than during years of imprisonment 
We all anxiously await news that has not yet come. The Minstrels gave 
their last concert on Friday evening last. I have written to my correspond- 
ents not to write again, but I fear I have been too sanguine. 

Sunday May 21, 1865 Contrary to all expectation no general release has 
taken place yet through special ones are of every day occurence. The past 
fortnight has been a miserable one, the weather rainy and hot alternately, 
but worse than all this constant state of expectancy. Read service today in 
Div 38. 

[The diary ends here abruptly. Autographs of some of the other prison- 
ers appear on the remaining leaves of the book] 72 



72 Field officers were not all released until July 25, 1865. Official Records, Series II, 
VIII, 714. 



Book Reviews 

A Collection of Many Christian Experiences. By Clement Hall, with an 
Introduction by William S. Powell. (Raleigh : State Department of Ar- 
chives and History. 1961. 25, 53. $2.00.) 

This is the first nonlegal book printed in North Carolina, written by 
the Reverend Clement Hall, an Episcopal minister of the early Colo- 
nial period in North Carolina. 

The introduction, pages 1-25, by contemporary William S. Powell, is 
a commentary on the author and his work, as far as there is extant ma- 
terial. The original book by Hall, pages 26-53, a reprint of the work by 
James Davis, New Bern, who established his print shop in 1749, first 
appeared in 1753. 

Hall was a missionary in eastern North Carolina for the Established 
Church of England, of which country he seems to have been a native. 
He saw difficult times as to travel ( 2,200 miles a year on horseback ) , 
labored against odds (scattered population, absence of churches, ig- 
norance of the people, opposition), and sustained loss (specifically 
the destruction of his home in 1755 by fire ) . His extraordinary ministry 
is epitomized in the fact that he baptized 10,000 persons in the thirteen 
years of his ministry, i.e., between 1745 and 1758. 

The brief volume by Hall contains "a Collection of Many Christian 
Experiences, Sentences, and Several Places of Scripture Improved. . . . ) 
After a short Preface, addressed "To the Candid Reader," there follows 
the "Miscellaneous Collection . . ." which is a "Book of Proverbs" or 
"Poor Richard's Sayings." These are wise observations, deeply religious 
in character, and often supported by Scripture. The "sayings" urge 
discipline and reflect rigorousness, yet are not without "the quality of 
mercy," and sometimes remotely provide humor, as is indicated in the 
aphorism: 

" 'Tis better to have a Wife without a Portion, than a Portion 
without a Wife. A meer Help." 

The second part of the book is entitled, "Serious Advice to Persons 
Who Have been sick; With a Thanksgiving for recovery." This is a 
treatise in depth though short, in which the author with great tender- 
ness, if firmness, holds that sickness is a symbol of death for sin; that 
the merciful God is the physician who heals when "the Eye is chiefly 
upon" Him. Sickness should result in reflection upon the one's former 



86 The North Carolina Historical Review 

state of disinterest in spiritual matters and the consideration of "the 
Goodness and Mercy of God/' Recuperation should effect reformation 
of character and industry in regard to the "precious Talent of Time." 

Sickness is "Chastisement of a tender Father," intended to bring His 
children to His ways which eventually lead to Eternal Life. 

There follows after the discourse a prayer of thanksgiving from sick- 
ness, and several additional prayers for the sick, for families as morn- 
ing and evening devotionals, for a child, and graces for meals. 

Mr. Powell, in his commentary on Hall's book, has delineated the re- 
ligious life of the first half of the eighteenth century through the eyes 
of the ministry of that day, which indeed was limited to almost this 
one man alone in North Carolina. The accounts of the rigors of travel 
in Colonial times are graphic, and serve to impress on us the greatness 
of the sacrifice of men like Hall. 

Mr. Powell has made use of valuable source materials, in both Amer- 
ica and England, in an effort to furnish us a well-rounded picture of 
the man and his times. 

Those whose interests are inclined towards pietism will appreciate 
and benefit by this book, and those who have endured illness will profit 
from the essay on sickness. 

Harold J. Dudley. 

Presbyterian Synod Office, 

Raleigh. 



The Poems of Governor Thomas Burke of North Carolina. Edited with 
Introduction and Notes by Richard Walser. (Raleigh: State Depart- 
ment of Archives and History. 1961. Pp. x, 69. $3.00.) 

For a culture that today ignores Shelley's visionary poet-legislator, 
no longer produces its own Sidneys and Miltons, but glances uneasily 
at a poet named Mao, the first collected edition of poems by a doctor, 
member of the Continental Congress, and Governor of his State con- 
stitutes some measure of value. For Thomas Burke, no matter what 
his poetic limitations, reveals here an integrity between his active life 
and his creative response to it. To be sure, reflective poems like "Bene- 
volence" and "Hymn to Spring" have little intrinsic worth, being pain- 
fully imitative of James Thomson. Nor do the numerous love poems 
often rise above the conventionality of their pastoral poses and exag- 
gerated compliments, though there is biographical interest in their 
picture of a juvenille southern gallant, foreshadowing the debonair 
delegate in Philadelphia, who polished graceful, if sterile, compliments 
to the ladies. 

When poet and revolutionist unite, however, the result is occasion- 



Book Reviews 87 

ally vigor and intensity of feeling. While his satires fail in imitation to 
achieve Pope's or Dryden's pose of approbation which thinly conceals 
the intent of scorn, the "Address to the Goddess Dulness" is lusty po- 
litical raillery, and "An Epistle" heaps scatological abuse on Thomas 
Paine for meddling in the Silas Deane affair. In such satires, what fe- 
licities exist stem less from Burke's mediocre talent than from a com- 
mitment to an ideal which impells expression; and the same factor 
enervates his non-satiric pieces in the cause of independence, as when 
Pitt's defense of the colonies arouses his acclaim, or the gallant death 
of a Tory receives his salute mixed with pride in an American triumph. 
Indeed, in "Ruthless War" his convictions as to the rightness of the 
colonial cause triumph over the dead pastoralism of the poem's frame- 
work to find expression in a sustained passage of rhetorical power far 
above his usual level of mere fluency. 

While certainly not of major literary worth, these poems are valuable 
to the historian, the student of eighteenth-century letters, and to all 
who regret the passing of the universal man. For this value we are in- 
debted to Mr. Walser, who has edited the twenty-three poems, all but 
two of which come from fragmentary manuscripts in the North Caro- 
lina Department of Archives and History, and seventeen of which had 
never been published. His notes clarifying historical contexts and local 
personages increase our debt (in spite of advice that "Mantuan refers 
to Anacreon" or that mythological characters played on tender Lotus- 
eaters). However, highly debatable editorial practices modify this 
debt rather severely. First, there is what the editor calls "styling," the 
printing of the volume in eighteenth-century fashion, with the long 
"s," archaic contractions, "generous Capitalizations particularly of 
Nouns, and frequent Italics for proper Names and important Words." 
This effort at quaintness (extended even to the editorial apparatus) 
may titillate the "booklover" but will hinder the general reader and 
fail to impress the student. More serious, even, is the claim that "the 
Poems have been regularized" as to spellings, capitalizations, and 
punctuations. The corruptions of Shakespeare's texts alone by such 
eighteenth-century improvers should be warning enough against emu- 
lation. Finally, not to dwell upon the liberty taken in entitling those 
poems which Burke did not, there is a serious defect in the absence of 
variant readings even at points of editorial alteration. If the poems de- 
serve a modern publishing, it should follow that they deserve editing 
in a way to insure reliability for the scholar as well as appeal to the 
average reader. 

William 0. Harris. 
Wake Forest College. 



88 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The Papers of William Alexander Graham. Volume III, 1845-1850. Edited 
by J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton. (Raleigh : State Department of Archives 
and History. 1960. Pp. xvi, 541. $3.00.) 

William A. Graham was one of North Carolina's most prominent 
ante-bellum citizens. He served as Governor of North Carolina for two 
terms, was a United States Senator, Fillmore appointed him Secretary 
of the Navy and the Whigs nominated him for Vice-President with 
Winfield Scott in 1852. The North Carolina Department of Archives 
and History is publishing a series of volumes containing his papers 
edited by the distinguished scholar, teacher, and collector, the late 
J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton. This is the third of the series covering 
the years, 1845-1850, the entire period of his governorship and the be- 
ginning of his cabinet service. 

We have here the activities of a distinguished Whig and this material 
is particularly welcome because such data are more abundant for 
Democrats. Graham was inaugurated at the beginning of this volume. 
His interests and responsibilities were varied. Not only did he have 
the usual gubernatorial duties, but in addition he was charged with 
assembling the complete archives of North Carolina during the period 
of the American Revolution and he was responsible for managing her 
participation in the Mexican War. As a prominent Whig in the Demo- 
cratic administration of his fellow North Carolinian, James Knox Polk, 
his reactions and that of his party colleagues were not uncritical. This 
Whig material makes for a better balance in the story. There are inter- 
esting sidelights on North Carolina's economic and cultural develop- 
ment which give the volumes an interest broader than the political. 

These letters throw interesting light on the campaign of 1848 and 
the election and education of Zachary Taylor. Patronage matters en- 
gross much attention and there are intriguing glimpses of Old Rough 
and Ready's troubles. His death brought in Fillmore and what was in 
many respects a real change in administration. Graham was invited 
into the cabinet, though for some weeks there was uncertainty as to 
which post would be his. He is barely at his desk when the volume 
concludes. 

This correspondence is a part of the Whig mosaic and supplies in- 
teresting pieces which when fitted together with other such published 
by North Carolina and by other agencies make a more understandable 
picture of ante-bellum southern politics. The Old North State is to be 
congratulated on having an editor of Dr. Hamilton's distinction and a 
public spirit which will support publication of historical material. The 



Book Reviews 89 

program of the State's Department of Archives and History is an ex- 
ample to similar agencies in other States. 

Roy F. Nichols. 
University of Pennsylvania. 



The County of Gaston: Two Centuries of a North Carolina County. By 
Robert F. Cope and Manly Wade Wellman. (Charlotte: Gaston County 
Historical Society. 1961. Pp. xviii, 197. End maps, appendixes, notes, 
and index. $7.50.) 

Near the close of the first half of the eighteenth century Scotch-Irish 
and German immigrants began to settle along the Catawba and the 
South Fork rivers. As they spread westward they were joined by Irish 
Catholics and by Highland Scots, although the latter group is largely 
ignored in this history. The authors have given us an interesting and 
highly readable account, occasionally romantically colored, of these 
early settlements, of the carving out of a new county from Lincoln in 
1846 named for Judge William Gaston, and of the subsequent develop- 
ment of the county, which contains more incorporated towns and more 
textile plants than any other county in the State. 

Although a considerable number of these early settlers did not quali- 
fy their descendants for membership in the D. A. R., the majority fought 
for freedom in the American Revolution, and many served with dis- 
tinction, especially at the nearby Battle of Kings Mountain. As in most 
histories, considerable space is devoted to the roles played by native 
sons in subsequent wars. Names of Gaston men who served in the Rev- 
olutionary, Civil, and Spanish- American wars appear in appendixes. 

Gold was discovered early, and it served as a particular lure for the 
Irish settlers. As late as 1893 deposits of iron ore were still listed as 
important. The urgent desire of farmers to convert their corn into liq- 
uid assets probably contributed largely to the rapid growth of the dis- 
tilling business and by 1885 there were 85 licensed distillers in the 
county. Of more enduring importance, of course, has been the phe- 
nomenal growth of the textile industry. Local entrepreneurs, utilizing 
available water power, began building cotton mills as early as 1816, 
and by the mid-1930's, 102 mills were in operation, more than in any 
other county in the United States. 

Some readers may take exception to the conclusions reached and the 
brief treatment afforded the period of labor unrest which occurred in 
the years prior to 1940 and which culminated in the Loray Mill strike 
and the deaths of Police Chief Aderholt and strike leader Ella May 



90 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Wiggins; however, the book lays no claim to being a sociological study 
of the labor movement. 

Generously documented, reference is made primarily to secondary 
sources, particularly to Minnie Stowe Puett's History of Gaston County 
( 1936) and to Joseph H. Separk's histories published in 1936 and 1949. 
Perhaps more attention to primary sources would have prevented such 
minor errors as that which occurs in tracing the lineage of Gaston 
County back to New Hanover, which in turn "had been erected from 
part of Clarendon in 1729, while Clarendon, until 1696, had belonged 
to Albemarle." Clarendon, never clearly defined and never a part of 
Albemarle, disappeared about 1667. New Hanover was formed from 
Craven in 1729. The foreword is by President William Friday of the 
University of North Carolina, a native son. 

The Gaston County Historical Society is to be commended for its 
corporate effort and for the years of research on the part of individual 
members which made the history possible. 

A. M. Patterson. 
State Department of Archives and History. 



The Commonwealth of Onslow: A History. By Joseph Parsons Brown. 
(New Bern: Owen G. Dunn Company, 1960. Pp. v, 434. Appendixes and 
index. $4.25.) 

This book is a work of parts— many parts. The Contents, Appendices, 
and "Personalities" run the gamut from "Geography of the County" to 
"Onslow County Bar." Most of the ninety-five sections are essays on 
various phases of life in Onslow County since 1731. Others are lists of 
names and statistical information. There is little warrant for calling 
the collection "A History," even as a sub-title. 

The author has done a creditable job in selecting materials and writ- 
ing the resulting essays. It is to be regretted that he did not include a 
sketch of himself in the "Personalities," since he is identified in several 
places as being active in local affairs. Though it is easy to recognize his 
association by inheritance and inclination with the conservation Demo- 
cratic element there is no nostalgic strain in his writing. The end of 
slavery, the populist revolt, the New Deal, and even the desecration 
of historic areas by recent defense installations are described as neces- 
sary and beneficial developments in the progressive growth of the 
county. Misstatements of facts in general history are less numerous 
than in the average run of publications of this sort. These along with 
the too frequent lapses in spelling and inconsistencies in proper names 



Book Reviews 91 

could have been eliminated by a little careful editing and proofreading. 
Three contributions make the work unique among recent publica- 
tions in local history. There is a good account of the settlement and 
establishment of local government in one of the original precincts of 
the colony of North Carolina. A laudable effort is also made to unravel 
the tangled skein of church history and without theological rancor or 
denominational bias to trace the evolution of congregations in the 
county. Finally, the work presents short sketches of the family and 
community backgrounds of native sons who have attained something 
of State or national recognition. The thumbnail treatments of Samuel 
Johnston, Edward B. Dudley, Cyrus Thompson, and Daniel L. Russell 
might well become the inspiration of some writer for a biography of 
one or more of these men. 

Paul Murray. 
East Carolina College. 



Abstracts of the Records of Onslow County, North Carolina, 1734-1850. 
Edited by Zae Hargett Gwynn. ( [Memphis, Tennessee] : Privately print- 
ed. 1961. Pp. vi, 845 [Volume I] ; Pp. vi, 846-1,592 [Volume II]. $50.00, 
the set.) 

This is a remarkable work in that the author has done well what so 
many other abstracters do poorly because of their lack of either care, 
patience, and funds— or all three. 

Mrs. Zae Hargett Gwynn is a descendant of North Carolinians. Her 
interest in genealogy and local history led her to realize that county 
records contain a wealth of historical information which, if ferreted 
out and published, would be immensely helpful to others. 

These volumes contain abstracts of the following Onslow County 
records: deeds, 1734-1839; wills, 1746-1864; land entries and grants, 
1712-1839; guardian accounts, 1754-1868; marriage bonds, 1750-1868; 
and the censuses of 1790 and 1850. The original records are located 
in the courthouse at Jacksonville, in the State Department of Archives 
and History in Raleigh, and in the National Archives in Washington. 

The two volumes are not without their faults and errors, but to dwell 
upon them would be to point out the inevitable in a publication of this 
magnitude. It is sufficient here to say that Mrs. Gwynn has published 
a monumental work with fewer of both than are to be found in most 
publications of this type. The volumes are beautifully and expensively 
printed and bound— and this reviewer might add that the author will 
not be repaid from sales of the books. In a profession where both time 



92 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and finances are usually limited, it is refreshing to encounter a citizen 
who is willing to contribute both in return for the satisfaction of seeing 
historical records made available to others without the means but with 
the same zeal for research. 

One happy footnote: Mrs. Gwynn is now preparing for publication 
similar abstracts for the counties of Granville and Jones. 

H. G. Jones. 
State Department of Archives and History. 



The 1850 Census of Craven County, North Carolina. Edited by Zae Har- 
gett Gwynn. (Memphis, Tennessee: Privately printed. 1961. Pp. i, 185.. 
$12.50.) 

This volume, printed and bound in the same expensive manner as 
the abstracts of Onslow County records reviewed above, is an exact 
copy of the federal population census of 1850 for Craven County, the 
original of which is in the National Archives. 

Mrs. Gwynn has taken no license with the information contained in 
the original records. Included are the name of each individual, his age, 
sex, race, occupation, value of property, place of birth (usually only 
the State), and such assorted supplemental data as inability to read 
and write, insanity, and other skeletons that will rattle an occasional 
descendant. It is to Mrs. Gwynn's credit that she has faithfully repro- 
duced in printed form this valuable document of Craven County his- 
tory. Would that the census for the entire State be so published! 

Unfortunately, no index is provided. Nevertheless, the editor was 
wise in maintaining the original order of the census which shows fam- 
ily and household connections. 

H. G. Jones. 
State Department of Archives and History. 



Historic Flat Rock, Where the Old South Lingers. By Kenneth Frederick 
Marsh and Blanche Marsh. (Asheville: Biltmore Press. 1961. [Approx. 
84 unnumbered pages.] $3.00.) 

In this small, attractive volume, Kenneth and Blanche Marsh reveal 
the pleasant, private life of wealth and fashion that has persisted since 
ante-bellum days in the historic homes of Flat Rock, North Carolina, 
a summer colony originally settled by aristocratic rice planters of 
Charleston. A brief account of the settlement near the "flat rock" in 



Book Reviews 93 

Henderson County introduces the book's main contents: 84 photo- 
graphs of homes, furnishings, buildings, and estates, accompanied by 
terse, informative text. 

The roughly chronological arrangement conveys a sense of the 
colony's growth and change from its founding in 1827 to the present. 
Some of the homes currently are owned by descendants of the ante- 
bellum owners, among whom were families with the eminent names 
of Baring, Rutledge, Laurens, Pinckney, and Memminger; others are 
now possessed by families of relatively recent achievement, such as 
Sherrill, Angier, McCabe, and Sandburg. A few of the modern owners 
have posed with their possessions. 

Kenneth Marsh is a skilled photographer with broad experience; his 
wife is a social worker by training. Together they have produced a 
contribution to the cultural history of North Carolina, a book which 
will stir the sentiments of those who live or visit in the secluded world 
of Flat Rock, the interest of those who delight in pictures of old and 
graciously furnished homes, and the envy of those who would like to 
live that way but can't. 

Oliver H. Orr. 
North Carolina State College. 



Chain of Error and the Mecklenburg Declarations of Independence — A 
New Study of Manuscripts: Their Use, Abuse, and Neglect. By V. V. 
McNitt. (Palmer, Massachusetts, and New York: Hampden Hills Press. 
1960. Pp. 134. $4.50.) 

The author of this recent examination of an old controversy is a 
staunch defender of the belief that on May 20, 1775, Mecklenburg 
County, North Carolina, declared independence from Great Britain 
and chose a Committee of Safety to organize a temporary government 
for the county. Eleven days later this committee adopted the twenty 
resolutions which in this volume are called the supplemental Second 
Declaration of Independence but which are more often known as the 
Mecklenburg Besolves. 

Why is there a controversy? It is well known that in 1800 fire de- 
stroyed the minute book in which John McKnitt Alexander, secretary 
of the Mecklenburg convention of May 19-20, kept records of the trans- 
actions. But, along with many others, V. V. McNitt holds that copies 
of these records in Alexander's office were unharmed and contain am- 
ple proof of the validity of the Declaration. 

Specifically, Dr. Joseph McKnitt Alexander, son of John McKnitt 



94 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Alexander, found among his father's papers ( 1 ) a document "contain- 
ing rough notes made by John McKnitt Alexander between 1775 and 
1800," and (2) "an undated copy of Alexander's historical narrative 
of the independence movement and the text of the five resolutions of 
the May 20 Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence" (p. 32). The 
latter is known as "the copy in unknown handwriting" and is the one 
from which John McKnitt Alexander made a copy for William R. Da- 
vie on September 3, 1800, after the fire. 

Those who question the authenticity of the Declaration are unwill- 
ing to recognize any value in the "unknown handwriting" copy as the 
paper from which the Davie copy was transcribed. Instead they accept 
the conclusion reached by Professor Charles Phillips in 1853 that the 
Davie copy was made up from the memory of John McKnitt Alexander 
after the fire and was therefore fraudulent. 

McNitt denounces Phillips, a tutor in mathematics at the University 
of North Carolina, for alleged tampering with the Davie copy in an 
article which he wrote for the North Carolina University Magazine. 
According to McNitt, the third page of the Davie copy contains a state- 
ment concerning the activities of the Court of Inquiry set up in Meck- 
lenburg to which John McKnitt Alexander added an explanation word- 
ed as follows: 

"It may be worthy of notice here, to observe that the foregoing 
statement, tho' fundamentally correct; yet may not litterally corre- 
spond with the original records of the transactions of said Court of 
Inquiry; as all those records and papers were burnt (with the house) 
on April 6, 1800 .. ." (p. 94). 

The printed version of the Davie copy in Phillips' article is identical 
except for the insertion of the words "delegation and" between "said" 
and "Court." McNitt says that Alexander struck out these two words 
and that Phillips restored them. If the two words are properly a part 
of the text, then the wording says the Declaration was burned; if they 
were indeed struck when the Davie copy was prepared, then the word- 
ing says that only the records of the court were burned. McNitt regards 
the two words as the key to the controversy and insists that they were 
cancelled at the time of writing. 

This reviewer knows no way to determine definitively when the 
words were struck. Those who believe that there was a Declaration 
will doubtless accept McNitt's skillfully presented account, while skep- 
tics will probably remain unconvinced. 

Henry S. Stroupe. 
Wake Forest College. 



Book Reviews 95 

A Fool's Errand by Albion W. Tourgee. Edited by John Hope Franklin. 
(Cambridge, Mass.: John Harvard Library. Harvard University Press. 
1961. Pp. xxviii, 404. $5.00.) 

Among the many admirable reprints issued by the John Harvard 
Library, one of the most welcome and attractive is this one-time best 
selling novel. Written by a carpetbagger following fourteen trying 
years (1865-1879) in the South, A FooYs Errand not only reveals the 
thoughts of a carpetbagger on southern Reconstruction, but it remains 
one of the more perceptive descriptions of that puzzling fiasco as well 
as an enjoyable fictional tale. Professor Franklin's introductory vignette 
(one slightly marred by several minor inaccuracies concerning Tour- 
gee) satisfactorily establishes the author's identity and the historical 
and ideological significance of his work. A Union veteran from Ohio, 
Tourgee migrated to North Carolina with honorable and reasonable 
motives. There, altogether unexpectedly, he became an ardent and 
annoying, but often successful, reformer, whose influence and accom- 
plishments long outlasted the State's two short years of Republican 
rule. Amid the discomforts of Redemption, as Tourgee prepared to 
leave the State, he also began his important and soon famous novel— 
a fictional autobiography accompanied by incisive, frequently verbose, 
comments upon sectionalism, Reconstruction, and race relations. Tour- 
gee flouted his partisanship, but he was a keen and compassionate on- 
looker who drew from a rich fund of observation and experience. De- 
spite its excessive political-racial orientation, A Fool's Errand is a 
significant and unusually original portrayal, criticism, and analysis of 
postwar southern society; and to those who can still enjoy older modes 
of fiction, it also offers excitement, idealism, and romance accompanied 
by heavy doses of coincidence, contrivance, and stereotype. Here then 
is an enjoyable and most informative guide, especially for North Car- 
olinians, toward understanding an unpleasant but entrancing era. 

Otto H. Olsen. 
Norfolk College. 



The Colonial Records of South Carolina. Series 1. Journal of the Com- 
mons House of Assembly, January 19, 1748-June 29, 1748. J. H. Easter- 
by and Ruth S. Green (eds.). Columbia: South Carolina Archives De- 
partment. 1961. Pp. xxi, 457. $11.00.) 

This volume continues the printing of the work of the Commons 
House of South Carolina's Colonial Assembly. It fully maintains the 
high standards of accuracy and beauty of printing established by the 



96 The North Carolina Historical Review 

previous volumes. Those who in the past have worn out their eyes por- 
ing over manuscripts in eighteenth-century writing will find this mag- 
nificent printing a blessed relief. 

George C. Rogers, Jr., presents in the volume Preface a helpful sum- 
mary of the matters dealt with by the Commons House in this half 
year. He also clearly indicates the political situation in South Carolina 
at that mid-century. 

From the researcher's standpoint such printing of manuscript source 
materials is as good as the accuracy of the printing, and the thorough- 
ness of the indexing. The typographical errors are reduced to the ab- 
solute minimum. One "d" left out of "Powder Receiver" (p. 90) is the 
only such error this reviewer has discovered. 

An attempt was made to assess the quality of indexing. Taking the 
subject of election laws one finds it dealt with under "election laws," 
"Act 1," "Act 2," and "Bill No. 2." Of the three references under "elec- 
tion laws" one is wrong as to page. Four of the five items under "elec- 
tion laws" lead one to merely formal references to the existing election 
law as that law is named in reprinted election writs. All eighteen items 
under "Act 2" lead into the same blind alley. This pedantry, however, 
is well offset by the twenty-four references under "Bill No. 2." They 
carry one through the entire procedure in the enactment of a new elec- 
tions law to its formal enactment. 

South Carolinians can well be proud of the handsome way in which 
their State's colonial records are beings preserved and made available 
to historians. Historical research students may well bless the men who 
are so ably abetting and earning their work of research. 

C. G. Gordon Moss. 
Longwood College. 



A Rebel Came Home. Edited by Charles M. McGee, Jr., and Ernest M. 
Lander, Jr. (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press. 1961. Il- 
lustrations, notes, and index. Pp. xiv, 153. $4.50.) 

For our knowledge of life in the Old South we owe much to diary- 
keeping young ladies. We now may add to their number John C. Cal- 
houn's granddaughter Floride Clemson, a sharp observer and a clear 
writer, who made neat entries in her journal during the years 1863 
and 1864, while living in Maryland, and 1865 and 1866, after moving 
to South Carolina. Her diary, like most personal records of the kind, 
is especially rewarding to those readers interested in the author her- 
self, in her relatives, and in the places where she resided or visited. It 



Book Reviews 97 

also contains many observations valuable to those interested in the 
broader history of her time. She gives, for example, an intriguing war- 
time glimpse of James Buchanan and his niece, Harriet Lane, at home 
in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Miss Clemson also has a good deal to say 
about the pleasures and pastimes, as well as the hardships and worries, 
of planter families during the uncertain months following defeat in 
war. As a chronic patient, being treated for weak eyes and other ills, 
she provides incidental information on the theories and practices of 
contemporary medicine. Unfortunately, her diary is too short, and so 
was her life; she was only twenty-nine when she died, in 1871. She 
has been fortunate, however, in her editors, both of them members of 
the Clemson College faculty. They have done an excellent job, putting 
the diary in its setting by means of a prologue and an epilogue, and 
supplying other relevant information in appendixes and in extensive 
and careful notes. 

Richard N. Current. 
The University of Wisconsin. 



The Attitude of Tennesseans toward the Union, 1847-1861. By Mary 
Emily Robertson Campbell. (New York: Vantage Press. 1961. Maps, 
notes, appendixes, bibliography, and index. Pp. 308. $4.50.) 

The announced purpose of this book, which originated as a master's 
thesis and was later expanded into a doctoral dissertation at Vanderbilt 
University, is to reveal the attitude of Tennesseans toward the Union 
during the troubled period immediately preceding the Civil War and 
upon the outbreak of hostilities. The author has relied largely upon 
primary sources, especially newspapers which, admittedly partisan in 
tone, probably led and also reflected public opinion, and government 
documents which, in a period when there was apparently much inter- 
est in public affairs, are valuable sources of information. Eschewing 
any attempt "to justify or to condemn individuals, great or small, for 
their respective courses of action" during the years under review, Mrs. 
Campbell has succeeded in writing with admirable objectivity. 

An introductory chapter on geographic, social, and economic con- 
ditions within the State during the decade 1850-1860 could have been 
improved by including less statistical material and more interpretation 
and summary. Other chapters reveal that Tennesseans, with relatively 
few exceptions, regarded the Compromise of 1850 as either the most 
desirable or the only practical solution of the slavery problem; that 
during the 1850's most Tennesseans of all political beliefs evinced 



98 The North Carolina Historical Review 

feelings of strong attachment for the Union, although they were not 
agreed as to the best method of settling the increasingly bitter dispute 
between the North and the South; and that although the result of the 
election of 1860 was extremely displeasing to the people of Tennessee, 
they accepted it calmly and proposed to abide by it. 

The election of Lincoln, however, set in motion a train of events 
which eventually broke all party lines in the State and ultimately cre- 
ated a situation in which there were two groups, Secessionists and 
Unionists. The Unionists triumphed in an election called by the legis- 
lature and held on February 9, 1861, but the firing upon Fort Sumter 
and Lincoln's call for troops electrified Middle and West Tennessee, 
and shocked to some extent East Tennessee, with the result that in a 
second election held on June 8 the State voted for "Separation" by a 
majority of more than two to one, the change in sentiment having oc- 
curred mainly in Middle Tennessee. 

James W. Patton. 
The University of North Carolina. 



A Virginia Yankee in the Civil War : The Diaries of David Hunter Stro- 
ther. Edited with an Introduction by Cecil D. Eby, Jr. (Chapel Hill: 
The University of North Carolina Press. 1961. Illustrations, footnotes, 
and index. Pp. xx, 294. $6.75.) 

By now, Professor Eby of Washington and Lee has made David H. 
Strother— artist, writer, soldier— almost his own property, and by ex- 
tension the property once more of southern literature and history. The 
diaries published in this volume were preceded by an edition of Stro- 
ther's pencil sketches and travel essays, The Old South Illustrated 
( 1959 ) , and a biography of Strother titled from his pseudonym, Porte 
Crayon ( 1960 ) . The Civil War diaries cover the months from Febru- 
ary, 1862, to August, 1864, at which time Strother retired from the 
Union army. 

Though Strother was well connected with Old Dominion families, 
he was from that area in northern Virginia near the Pennsylvania line 
later incorporated into West Virginia. His political and economic sym- 
pathies lay with the Yankees. He accepted an appointment as staff offi- 
cer and topographer with the northern forces when commanders, with- 
out any reliable maps, needed a guide who knew the Valley of Virginia 
like the palm of a man's hand. In the Valley campaign, in the battles 
of Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, Antietam, New Market, and 
others, Strother was always near the command posts. In 1863 he went 



Book Reviews 99 

to Louisiana and participated in the campaign on the Teche. Later he 
was partially responsible for the burning of the buildings of the Vir- 
ginia Military Institute ( and, after the war, among the first to sponsor 
their rebuilding ) . His constant diaries noted everything. 

Professor Eby remarks that most war diaries are either too narrow 
or too broad, the first concentrating helplessly on the individual, the 
second moving along in such a grand manner that immediacy is lack- 
ing. Strother's diary is neither of these. The reader is always in the 
midst of the scene, watching the maneuvers from the vantage point 
of a staff officer. Armies shift here and there; one is in the presence of 
Pope, McClellan, and other generals; yet the human quality of Strother 
makes these great moments live. 

He is human enough to decry his own failures in judgment. He is 
annoyed to read in the northern press of the Yankees' "brilliant victo- 
ries," in his mind neither brilliant nor very victorious. At a moment of 
depression, he calls Lincoln a man with "neither sense nor principle." 
He curses that politics and jealousies are stretching out the war, that 
there is no leadership in the North. He moans that the war was caused 
by "heated and ambitious demagogues" on both sides. 

His harshest words are for his fellow Virginians, "a decadent race," 
the women of which are nothing more than "she-braggarts." In fact, 
the whole State will need re-population by northerners after the war. 
Then, too, the southern leaders must be disenfranchised, or else the 
war will have been useless. It must have hurt Strother to admit that 
southern soldiers were generally better than northern ones, their com- 
manders always so. 

It is such comments as these which make good reading of a diary 
from which irrelevancies such as summaries of personal letters have 
been cut. The footnotes are of the barest minimum. There is, however, 
one criticism, please: Maps of campaigns and battlefields would have 
helped tremendously. One reader, at least, was often as painfully lost 
as some of the wandering northern soldiers. 

Richard Walser. 
North Carolina State College. 



The Battle of New Orleans : A British View. The Journal of Major C. R. 
Forrest. Edited by Hugh F. Rankin. (New Orleans: The Hauser Press. 
1961. Pp. vii, 51. $2.00.) 

Three books concerning the Battle of New Orleans were published in 
1961— Jane Lucas de Grummond's carefully source-researched and well 



100 The North Carolina Historical Review 

written The Baratarians and the Battle of New Orleans (Louisiana 
State University Press); Charles B. Brooks' The Siege of New Orleans 
(University of Washington Press), a mistitled account of the British 
campaign based entirely on published material; and the above title, 
edited with an introduction and annotations by Tulane University 
history professor, Hugh F. Rankin. Together they form a neat package 
concerning the disastrous British attempt to gain possession of the 
lower Mississippi Valley. 

In a succinct but comprehensive introduction the editor summarizes 
the British campaign against the Crescent City: its origins, geography 
of the area, measures taken for the defense of New Orleans, the "Battle 
of the Glorious Eighth," and the account written by Major Charles R. 
Forrest, Assistant Quartermaster General, 34th Regiment of Foot. 
Then follows the cover letter of Lieutenant John Peddie, whose copy 
of the Forrest account is edited, Forrest's Journal, and a letter of Major 
General John Lambert which describes the battle. Editor Rankin has 
done a thorough and scholarly job in preparing these significant docu- 
ments for publication. 

Edwin Adams Davis. 
Louisiana State University. 



The Baratarians and the Battle of New Orleans. By Jane Lucas de Grum- 
mond. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. 1961. Pp. xi, 
180. $4.50.) 

The reader of this book will be rewarded by the enlightened account 
of the Battle of New Orleans presented by the author. Using a variety 
of sources, primary and otherwise, Miss de Grummond has pre- 
sented a lucid and believable account of the part played in the New 
Orleans campaign by the Baratarian pirates of the Louisiana delta 
country. Jean and Pierre Lafitte, brothers and leaders of the Bara- 
tarian pirates, chose to side with the United States against an invading 
British army in 1814. The reasons for this choice are not presented 
clearly by the author, although pure and simple patriotism is hinted. 
It is interesting that the Lafittes made this decision since they were 
later prosecuted for smuggling by the United States authorities. 

Miss de Grummond's style is both interesting and readable. In spite 
of numerous quotations her narrative is smooth and cohesive. Many 
of the sources used were prepared by participants in the battle, an 
indispensable element in the writing of military history. This book is 



Book Reviews 101 

of extreme value in shedding important light on a hitherto little-known 
episode of American military history. 

Richard W. Iobst. 
North Carolina Confederate Centennial Commission. 



The Siege of New Orleans. By Charles B. Brooks. (Seattle: University of 
Washington Press, 1961. Pp. xii, 334. Maps, notes, bibliography, and 
index. $6.50.) 

The Battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815, an engagement that 
occurred after a war was over, contains all of the elements of romantic 
patriotism; a motley crew of pirates, frontiersmen, and new Americans 
speaking strange tongues arrayed against Britain's finest and inflicting 
a defeat that does little for England's military reputation. Coming 
when it did, after a war that had done little to enhance American 
military prestige, it pampered the American ego to such an extent that 
it still stands as a shining light among the martial annals of the nation. 

Professor Charles B. Brooks has written a smooth and fast-stepping 
account of this engagement, although there is from the first a ten- 
dency to quarrel with the use of the word "Siege" in the title. In retro- 
spect, the style is perhaps a little too flowing, for the casual reader 
could well be lulled into overlooking practices that annoy the historian. 
For example, anglicizing the French "Jacque," "Jean," and "Pierre" 
has the effect of limiting the respect for authenticity. And although 
the account of the battle itself is basically correct, liberties have been 
taken with the sources, including the fabrication of conversation. And 
there is the impression that the author seems willing, at times, to accept 
tradition and the legendary to spice his narrative. 

The bibliography is impressive, but here again a second glance re- 
veals flaws. There is no reference to a single manuscript, and there 
are many that would have been useful in the various repositories 
throughout the nation, including the Library of Congress. And those 
printed materials that have been used have upon occasion been 
handled in rather a loose fashion. 

In a land where water is so much a part of the landscape and where 
the "trembling prairies" posed logistical obstacles of monumental pro- 
portions, it seems that too little emphasis has been placed upon geo- 
graphical considerations. Not only did the terrain prohibit naval 
support, but the very fact that Pakenham was forced to fight on a 
narrow field, limited in maneuver by the swamps on one side and the 
Mississippi River on the other, is in itself indicative of defeat. 



102 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The readability of the book makes for an exciting narrative. Yet, 
if it must be classified, it should fall in that vale between the more 
clearly defined summits of fiction and history. 

Hugh F. Rankin. 

Tulane University. 



The First South. By John Richard Alden. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State 
University Press. 1961. Pp. vii, 144. $3.50.) 

In his volume on The South in the Revolution, 1763-1789, published 
in 1957, John Richard Alden pointed out that at the beginning of the 
Revolutionary era no southern entity could be identified. "Moreover, 
even the words 'South' and 'Southerner' had not the meaning in 1775 
that they later acquired. ... By the end of the Revolutionary epoch, 
however, the South had emerged as a section and the Southerners as 
a people different from Northerners. Divergences continued within 
the region below the Mason-Dixon boundary, but there was, when 
Washington assumed the presidency, a South at least loosely united, 
and one certainly distinct from a North in terms of climate, slavery, 
economy, social structure, and political viewpoint. As the War of 
Independence proceeded, the words 'South' and 'Southern' were in- 
creasingly applied only to the area and the people below the Susque- 
hanna. That they were so used more and more commonly was not 
merely a matter of convenience; conflict appeared during the war 
between those who lived upon one side of the line and those who dwelt 
upon the other. In the Federal convention of 1787 accommodation of 
the jarring interests of South and North offered a preplexing and har- 
assing puzzle, one which required solution if there was to be an 
American union" (pp. 2-3). 

The present little volume, embodying the Walter Lynwood Fleming 
Lectures in Southern History at Louisiana State University in 1960, 
reconsiders and confirms the beginning and early development of 
southern sectionalism as quoted above. Mr. Alden defines geographic- 
ally this "First South" of the 1770's and 1780's and characterizes it in 
economic and social terms. Then he views its emergence historically 
through the sectional struggle in the Continental Congress, the debates 
in the Federal Convention, and the ratification of the Constitution by 
the several southern States. The survey of the period within this frame 
of reference substantiates James Madison's argument that the basic 
issues were to be found, not between large States and small, but be- 
tween economic and regional interests (p. 83). Concurrent develop- 



Book Reviews 103 

ment of an American consciousness, expressed on occasion by Patrick 
Henry, Light Horse Harry Lee, or George Washington, suggests its 
correlation with sectionalism and State autonomy in order to compre- 
hend these conflicting forces more intelligently. Was sectionalism more 
powerful than nationalism when the new government was launched 
under the Constitution? 

Mr. Alden points out that the Revolutionary generation distinguished 
between southern States and "eastern," rather than northern, States and 
that the constituent members varied with the time and the point of 
view. It is a bit disconcerting, however, to meet up with his modern 
term, Far South and Far Southerners, to embrace those in the South- 
east and the Mississippi Valley; or his "Middle Americans" (p. 73) 
north of the Mason-Dixon Line. If this is the area, or a portion of it, 
"north of the Susquehanna" (pp. 4, 10), which flows south through 
Pennsylvania, we shall have to get re-oriented to avoid geographical 
confusion. So, too, the area "east of the Potomac" (p. 108) rather than 
north of it, turns out to be Maryland. 

Although the text of these lectures is not annotated for the most part, 
a few footnotes appear, enlightening the reader but tantalizing him 
with incomplete citations. The "Bibliographical Note" (pp. 135-140) 
can be supplemented by the author's "Critical Essay on Authorities" 
in The South in the Revolution. 

Lester J. Cappon. 
Institute of Early American History and Culture, 
Williamsburg, Virginia. 



Romance and Realism in Southern Politics. By T. Harry Williams. 
(Athens : University of Georgia Press. Eugenia Blount Lamar Memorial 
Lectures, 1960. 1961. Pp. xii, 84. $2.50.) 

In these four lectures, delivered at Mercer University, T. Harry 
Williams, holder of a distinguished chair at Louisiana State Univer- 
sity, surveys southern politics from Calhoun to Huey Long. The south- 
erner is almost by definition a politician, but here is no fulsome praise 
of the heirs of Jefferson and Jackson, no tribute to leaders whose high- 
est endeavors have been given to the art of politics. On the contrary, 
this book is a more or less subtle analysis— always politely couched in 
language acceptable to the lecturer's audience— of the ways in which 
the South has been ill served by its political leaders. The wrong battles 
have been fought for the wrong causes. The politicians have made a 
virtue of defeat, and have so wrapped themselves in the departed 



104 The North Carolina Historical Review 

glories of the Old South, the tragic heroism of the Lost Cause, and the 
resplendent vision of White Supremacy triumphant, that they have 
been able to unite the South behind false banners while receiving 
acclaim as statesmen. It is, as Williams sees it, a record of failure, with 
many wrong turns taken; and since there is blame enough for all, he 
distributes it with an impartial hand. The Old South failed, the Bour- 
bons failed, the Populists failed, the Progressives failed, the dema- 
gogues failed, and only Huey Long succeeded. The exact nature of 
these failures is not detailed, but it seems clear that the South failed 
to get in step with progress and its own self-interest. What the South 
had most of was an unmeasured ability to deceive itself. Something in 
the southern background, something indigenous, writes Williams, "pro- 
duced a tendency toward romanticism in thought and politics," and 
asking the South to shed this "something" was like asking it to give up 
its identity. The South's attachment to constitutionalism, conservatism, 
and its own peculiar conception of race integrity was out of harmony 
with the new currents of national life. 

Before the Civil War southern leaders allowed themselves to be put 
on the defensive with an issue which could not be defended, and they 
permitted themselves to be isolated from their natural ally, the West; 
afterwards the matter of race was somehow unleashed and the poli- 
ticians made to embrace it, reluctantly at first and then with fervor, as 
though it were a God-sent issue; and when the down-trodden whites 
undertook to rise under Populist leaders like Tom Watson, and Demo- 
crats like Ben Tillman, they found it expedient to rise on the backs of 
the blacks. If the Bourbons betrayed the masses, the agrarians of the 
nineties betrayed their cause, and the black man as well. Democracy 
was honored more in the breach than in the promise. Always the lead- 
ers, whether from the masses or the classes, were incurably romantic, 
could never face reality, and obscured all the issues that really mat- 
tered—such as loaves and fishes and fatted calves— with appeals to 
prejudices of race, religion, or class. 

Huey Long, according to Williams, was the first realist among south- 
ern politicians, and he was ready to revitalize the South. His secret 
seems to have been that he knew the instruments of power and dared 
to use them. The demagogues of the past had always seemed on the 
verge of fulfilling their promises, but they never did. Huey not only 
knew how to stroke "the ego of democracy" but he delivered what he 
promised; this was an innovation, and he became a folk hero in some 
sections of Louisiana and a political power in all. He had his own 
technique, both of influence and affluence, and if he early let slip his 
idealism in favor of realism, this must be blamed on the reactionary 






Book Reviews 105 

tactics of his opponents and not on any decline in the saving virtues 
of democracy. Long knew that the only real issues were those of politi- 
cal power and the economic foundations on which that power rested. 
He was a "coldly realistic operator" who never mentioned the Old 
South and the Lost Cause. He was careful to stay away from religion 
in politics, and he was at his shrewdest in the matter of race. He intro- 
duced Louisiana to the twentieth century and the welfare state; if he 
went out with a bang, he had successors and his good deeds live after 
him. Realist Long would surely not be displeased if the historians 
should learn to pay him tribute, even as did the road contractors and 
local bosses. What the South really needed, it seems, was more Huey 
Longs. If Long's assets are given more attention than his liabilities, 
perhaps we will have a truer reckoning when the final balance sheet 
is presented in Williams' intended biography of Long. 

Probably most readers will find these essays either stimulating or 
irritating ( the distinction is slight ) , and they will understand that Pro- 
fessor Williams has boldly accepted the risks inherent in broad gen- 
eralizations and inconclusive judgments. Whether the South has done 
with romanticism remains to be seen. If the South's defeats and 
humiliations have not taught obeisance to the proper gods, then it 
may be that the South will yet enter the space age with its eyes fixed 
on the stars. 

Robert H. Woody. 
Duke University. 



HISTORICAL NEWS 



DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY 

Carolina Charter Tercentenary Commission 

On November 21 Governor Terry Sanford commissioned members of 
the Carolina Charter Tercentenary Commission to serve for the period 
1961-1963. An induction ceremony was held in the State Capitol in Raleigh. 
Hon. Francis E. Winslow of Rocky Mount, Chairman of the Charter Com- 
mission, was reappointed ; Mr. Winslow has been serving in this capacity 
since his appointment in 1959 as the first Chairman. 

The following new members were appointed by Governor Sanford : Mrs. 
Ann B. Durham, Burgaw; Mr. William Carrington Gretter, Jr., Louisburg; 
Mrs. James M. Harper, Jr., Southport; Mrs. Ernest L. Ives, Southern 
Pines ; Dr. Henry W. Jordan, Cedar Falls ; Mr. Dan M. Paul, Raleigh ; Mr. 
J. P. Strother, Kinston ; and Rt. Rev. Thomas J. Wright, Wilmington. 

Commission members reappointed by the Governor are: Mrs. Doris 
Betts, Sanford; Mr. Henry Belk, Goldsboro; Dr. Chalmers G. Davidson, 
Davidson; Mr. Lambert Davis, Chapel Hill; Mr. Grayson Harding, Eden- 
ton; Mrs. Kauno A. Lehto, Wilmington; Mr. James G. W. MacLamroc, 
Greensboro; Mrs. Harry McMullan, Washington; Dr. Paul Murray, 
Greenville; Dr. Robert H. Spiro, Macon, Georgia; Mrs. J. 0. Tally, Jr., 
Fayetteville ; and Mr. David Stick, Kitty Hawk. 

Ex officio members of the Charter Commission are Dr. Charles F. Car- 
roll, Superintendent of Public Instruction; Mr. Hargrove Bowles, Jr., 
Director of the Department of Conservation and Development; and Dr. 
Christopher Crittenden, Director of the Department of Archives and His- 
tory. Brig. Gen. John D. F. Phillips, U. S. A. (Ret.) , is Executive Secretary 
of the Commission. 

December 1 marked the first issue of the Charter Commission's official 
publication, the Tercentenary News. This newspaper will be issued month- 
ly for the information of the Committee members, friends of the Charter 
Commission, and news media. 

A chief project of the Carolina Charter Tercentenary Commission is 
the publication of a new series containing the historical records of colonial 
North Carolina. 

Work on the project began in September under the editorship of Mrs. 
Mattie Erma Parker. Later Mrs. T. L. Quay became her assistant. An 
Advisory Editorial Board has been established to advise the Executive 
Editor on the over-all scope and organization of the project. This Board 
consists of the co-chairmen of the Scholarly Activities Committee, Mr. 
Lambert Davis, Director of the University of North Carolina Press and Mr. 



Historical News 107 

William S. Powell, Librarian of the North Carolina Collection at the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina ; Dr. Hugh T. Lef ler and Dr. Cecil Johnson, Pro- 
fessors of History at the University of North Carolina; Dr. Robert H. 
Woody and Dr. John Alden, Professors of History at Duke University ; and 
Mr. Sam Ragan, Managing Editor of the Raleigh News and Observer. 

The first volume of the new series of colonial records will be published 
iuring the Tercentenary in 1963. It will contain the charters granted by 
English rulers for exploring and settling the territory now included within 
the boundaries of North Carolina, and other fundamental documents re- 
lating to early Carolina. The original Carolina Charter of 1663 in the 
North Carolina Hall of History is used as basis for the transcription of that 
iocument; photocopies of the other documents are being obtained from 
British archives. The transcriptions will be modernized as to spelling and 
punctuation. 

Confederate Centennial Commission 

On August 18 Mr. Norman C. Larson, Executive Secretary of the Con- 
federate Centennial Commission, met with a group in Asheville to assist 
in organizing a Buncombe County Committee. While there he toured the 
site of the Battle of Asheville. He attended a meeting in Burlington on 
August 25 of the Alamance County Confederate Centennial Committee and 
returned there on August 31 to participate in the committee's tribute to 
the Sixth Regiment. He presented a special award to Captain George 
Walker for outstanding service to the Confederate Commission. On August 
28 he was present for the program of the South Carolina Confederate Cen- 
tennial Commission in Dillon. Mr. Larson made video tape recordings in 
Charlotte on September 1 for a series of Civil War television programs 
planned for the future. He met again in Charlotte on September 6 for a 
press conference and meeting with officials of the Mint Museum and the 
Nationwide Insurance Company to plan an exhibit of Currier and Ives 
prints in that city and participated in the opening ceremonies on Septem- 
ber 10. From September 11 through 13 he participated in the program of 
the Arkansas Civil War Centennial Commission in Little Rock. He attended 
in Charlotte, on September 18, a preview and reception for a special hour- 
long TV production, "The Union and the Confederacy," produced jointly 
by the Confederate Commission and WBTV. Mr. Larson attended meetings 
in Chapel Hill, Burlington, and Greensboro on September 21-22, and another 
in Greensboro on September 25 to plan a centennial exhibit for the Golden 
Gate Shopping Center. On October 6-7 he participated in the ceremonies 
at the opening of the exhibit. On September 27-28 Mr. Larson met with 
a group in Wilmington to discuss plans for the continuing development of 
Forts Fisher and Anderson. At the Wake Forest College — University of 
South Carolina football game in Winston-Salem on September 30, Mr. 
Larson was narrator at half-time ceremonies which had a Civil War theme. 
From October 10 to 12 he attended the meetings of the United Daughters 
of the Confederacy in Asheville where he conducted a breakfast workshop 
and was awarded the Jefferson Davis Medal for work in the field of his- 
torical preservation. He attended the fourth meeting, October 2-5, of the 



108 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Confederate States Centennial Conference at Jackson, Mississippi. He 
assisted in attempted salvage operations for the Confederate ram "Neuse" 
at Kinston on November 7 and spoke to members of the Civil War Round 
Table in High Point on November 10. 

The Commission has available for $1.00, A Guide to Military Organiza- 
tions and Installations — North Carolina — 1861-1865, compiled by Louis 
H. Manarin. This compilation of data regarding North Carolina units, and 
camps and forts located within North Carolina's boundaries, will be of 
special value to genealogists and historians. Also issued recently is a 
reprint, North Carolina Women of the Confederacy by Mrs. John Huske 
Anderson. There are approximately 600 copies remaining of this booklet, 
first published in 1926, which is also priced at $1.00. Three one-act plays, 
which sell for $.25 each, are also available: "No Bugles; No Drums," by 
George Brenholtz ; "Many Are the Hearts," by Manly Wade Wellman ; and 
"Durham Station," by Betty Smith. For orders of the above and infor- 
mation on the use of the following, write Mr. Norman C. Larson, Execu- 
tive Secretary, Confederate Commission, Box 1881, Raleigh : 

(1) "Night in Chambersburg," 16mm. film, V2 hr. dramatic TV play 
written by Manly Wade Wellman and produced by the University 
of North Carolina. 

(2) "The Union and the Confederacy," 16mm. (kinescope recording) 
television adaptation of Richard Bales' arrangement of Union and 
Confederate music, featuring the Transylvania Orchestra and 
Chorus. 

(3) "The Battle of Manassas," 16mm. (kinescope recording), 1/2 hr. 
story of the Manassas Campaign, produced by WFMY-TV. 

(4) "The Sixth Regiment," 16 mm. (kinescope recording) , % hr. story 
of the men in the Sixth on their way to war, produced by WTVD. 

New members of the Confederate Centennial Commission appointed by 
Governor Terry Sanf ord are : Dr. H. H. Cunningham, Elon College ; Mrs. 
R. O. Everett, Durham; Mr. Ernie Greup, Durham; Mrs. Sadie S. Patton, 
Hendersonville ; Dr. Robert Long, Statesville; Mrs. Alvin Seippel, Win- 
ston-Salem; Mr. Glenn M. Tucker, Carolina Beach; and Senator R. F. 
Van Landingham, Thomasville. 

Director's Office 

Meredith College juniors and seniors who are participating in the intern- 
ship course, sponsored jointly by the College and the State Department 
of Archives and History, are: Division of Archives and Manuscripts — 
Misses Judy Shouse and Mary Ayscue (special student) and Mrs. Dorothy 
McCombs; Division of Museums — Misses Sandra Sue Horton, Elizabeth 
Adams, Frances Gorham, and Sarah Ramsey ; and Division of Publications 
— Misses Brenda Corbett and Carroll Hicks. Internees study and work 
under a program designed to instruct them in both the technical and prac- 
tical phases of the work of the Department. 

On September 27 Dr. Christopher Crittenden, Director, attended the 
meetings of the Tryon Palace Commission in New Bern. One of the high- 



Historical News 109 

ights of the occasion was the placing in the Palace of the Book of the 
Descendants of the members of the Council and Commons who made pos- 
iible the building of the original Palace. Mrs. Lyman Cotten of Chapel 
lill served as Chairman of the Committee on the Book of Descendants, 
n addition to reports by various committees, awards of appreciation for 
'ecent gifts or special services to the Restoration were made to 38 persons. 
)ne of the recipients was Miss Mary Cornick, Budget Officer of the De- 
>artment, whose award was accepted by Dr. Crittenden in her absence. On 
he same date a Flag and Cannon Ceremony was held on the Palace 
5 arade Grounds. On October 1 and 2 Dr. Crittenden attended a meeting 
n Winston-Salem of the Traffic Council of North Carolina where he made 
i brief talk on the progress being made in developing the various historic 
ites in the State. In connection with this meeting he also attended the 
ledication of the new Whitaker Park Plant of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco 
Company. The plant, named in honor of Mr. John C. Whitaker, Honorary 
Chairman of the Board of the Reynolds Company, is said to be the largest 
obacco plant in the world and the largest factory of any kind in North 
Carolina. On October 5 Dr. Crittenden attended the opening of the Country 
>tore Exhibit at the Greensboro Historical Museum. Among North Caro- 
inians attending meetings of the National Trust for Historic Preservation 
n New York, from October 12-15, were Miss Gertrude Carraway of New 
tern and Mr. and Mrs. John A. Kellenberger of Greensboro. On October 
6 a special convocation in the North Carolina State Fair Arena marked 
he centennial of the Land-Grant Act establishing land-grant colleges in 
he United States and the Diamond Jubilee of North Carolina State College. 
)r. Frank Porter Graham was the principal speaker. On October 20 Dr. 
Crittenden attended the meeting of the Historical Society of North Caro- 
Ina at Wake Forest College in Winston-Salem. He attended the meetings 
November 2-3 of the Historic Bath Commission in Bath. A special guest 
yas Mrs. Edward Pryor of Bath, England. Dr. Crittenden and Mrs. 
^ranees Ashford, Education Curator of the Division of Museums, attended 
, meeting of the Advisory Committee for the Eighth Conference on Teach- 
ng of the Social Studies held at Duke University, Durham, on November 
:. The conference will also be held at Duke University on February 23-24. 
)n November 16 certain members of the Governor Richard Caswell Me- 
morial Commission met in Kinston and tentatively agreed on plans for 
andscaping the Caswell gravesite near Kinston. Dr. Crittenden was present 
or the meeting. He attended the ceremonies connected with the opening 
f the new Charles B. Aycock High School in Wayne County on December 
i at which Governor Terry Sanf ord made the principal address. 

In the November 7 bond election submitted to the people of the 
>tate, the item proposing a building for the Department of Archives 
,nd History and the State Library was defeated by a vote of 253,749 to 
04,504. All ten proposals for capital improvements in educational, com- 
mercial, and cultural institutions were turned down. 



110 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Division of Archives and Manuscripts 

Mr. H. G. Jones, State Archivist, was elected Treasurer of the Society 
of American Archivists at the Society's annual meeting in Kansas City and 
Independence, Missouri, October 4-7. He was also one of five persons elected 
to the rank of Fellow of the Society. Mr. Jones presided over a meeting 
of the State Records Committee, of which he is outgoing chairman, on 
October 4, and gave a report on "The State of State Archives." On October 
6 he presided over a session on county records at which Mr. J. Alexander 
McMahon, General Counsel of the North Carolina Association of County 
Commissioners, read a paper on North Carolina's county records program. 
Mr. Jones, Rear Admiral A. M. Patterson, Assistant State Archivist (State 
Records Management), represented the Department at the meeting. Mr. 
Mitchell, as outgoing member of the Council, will be Chairman of the 
Nominating Committee in 1962. 

On October 18 Mr. Jones addressed a meeting of the Chicora Chapter of 
the United Daughters of the Confederacy at Dunn. 

In the Archives, emphasis has been given to re-working the early records 
of the State Treasurer and Comptroller. A total of 894 persons registered 
in the Search Room and 798 were given information by mail during the 
quarter ending September 30. The Section provided 852 photostatic copies 
for the public, 67 paper prints from microfilm, 53 typed certified copies, 
and 1,000 feet of microfilm. The Laminating Shop restored 22,582 pages 
of historical records by the Barrow process. 

In the Newspaper Microfilm Project, Mr. Jones announces the availabil- 
ity of positive microfilm copies of all North Carolina newspapers published 
prior to 1801. One series of seven reels, entitled "Eighteenth Century 
North Carolina Newspapers" and designated Reels 18Cen-l through 18Cen- 
7, contains all titles published prior to 1801 except for the following titles 
which have been filmed and are available separately: Herald of Freedom 
(Edenton, 1799), Minerva (Fayetteville and Raleigh, 1796-1821), State 
Gazette of North Carolina (New Bern and Edenton, 1787-1799), Raleigh 
Register (Raleigh, 1799-1886), and North Carolina Journal (Halifax, 
1792-1810) . The price established for positive copies (subject to change) 
is $8 per reel regardless of length of reel. All titles previously announced 
in this journal are also available at that price. 

In the Local Records Section, an extensive and valuable collection of 
Colonial court and county records was received from Chowan County, 
including 158 volumes and pamphlets and 60 cubic feet of papers. A total 
of 35 volumes of court and estates records and 25 cubic feet of miscel- 
laneous papers were received from Iredell County. In addition, six volumes 
of court and estates records and 9 cubic feet of papers were received from 
Tyrrell County and tax records consisting of 26 volumes and 2 cubic feet 
of papers were received from Granville County. 

Staff personnel are engaged in arranging the new collection of Colonial 
government and Chowan County records, and in rearranging the large 
collection of Bertie County records in the Archives. 

Permanently valuable records are now being microfilmed in Granville 
and Johnston counties, the twentieth and twenty-first counties to be under- 



Historical News 111 

taken in the program. A considerable number of records are being restored 
to use by lamination and rebinding. 

Several personnel changes have recently occurred. Mr. James 0. Hall, 
graduate of East Carolina College, and Mrs. Ruby D. Arnold, graduate of 
the University of North Carolina, were appointed Archivists I. 

Rear Admiral A. M. Patterson, U. S. N. (Ret.), attended the annual 
convention of the North Carolina League of Municipalities in Durham, 
October 22-24. In one of the events, scheduled for city and town clerks, 
he participated with Mr. Jones and others in a panel discussion of the new 
Municipal Records Manual and the various aspects of municipal records 
retention and disposal. 

In the State Records Section, Mr. Bobby Lee Horton resigned as Clerk 
II to accept a position with the State Bureau of Investigation, and was 
replaced by his brother, Mr. Donald E. Horton. 

Inventorying and scheduling activities were concentrated on a revision 
of the Department of Revenue schedule, which was completed, and on 
revisions of the Department of Public Instruction and State Board of 
Education schedules. Amendments to the schedules of the Blind Commis- 
sion, Board of Health, Employment Security Commission, State Highway 
Commission, Division of Purchase and Contract, and Probation Commis- 
sion were also approved during the quarter. 

In the Microfilm Section, filming of the original Supreme Court cases 
was resumed. This important project will result in flat-filing all cases up 
to 1909 and in indexing all actions, both reported and unreported. The 
Section filmed a total of 301 rolls during the quarter, exposing 1,466,114 
frames. 

Agency representatives visited the State Records Center 157 times to 
use records. In addition, the Center staff answered 382 service requests 
for other agencies. Records accessioned totaled 1,610 cubic feet, and 1,236 
cubic feet were disposed of. 

The rediscovery of a significant historical document has been made in 
the North Carolina Department of Archives and History. The original 
manuscript draft of John Adams' Thoughts on Government has been found 
in the David L. Swain Papers where for many years it remained unrecog- 
nized for its originality. 

The document, a six-page holograph, unsigned and not addressed but 
prepared early in the spring of 1776 for William Hooper, was carried to 
North Carolina by Hooper and turned over to Thomas Burke, chairman 
of a committee to frame a state constitution. In 1845 Burke's papers were 
given by his daughter Miss Mary W. Burke, through Dr. James Webb of 
Hillsboro to Governor Swain for the North Carolina Historical Society 
Collection at the University of North Carolina. About 1868 Mrs. Swain 
withdrew some of the papers of her late husband. Some of the withdrawn 
papers were sold and perhaps given away, and one portion was turned 
over to the State of North Carolina. This latter portion eventually found 
its way to the North Carolina Historical Commission (now the State 
Department of Archives and History) , and among this collection was the 
Adams manuscript. While historians had generally known about (and 
used) a hand copy of the document as contained in the Burke Letterbook 



112 The North Carolina Historical Review 

in the Archives, the original manuscript in the Swain Papers had not been 
recognized for its significance. Upon inauguration of the project to pub- 
lish the Adams Papers by the Massachusetts Historical Society, however, 
a new search was undertaken by the Archives staff and, with the assis- 
tance of Dr. Carolyn A. Wallace of the Southern Historical Collection in 
Chapel Hill, who helped unravel the wayward path of the Swain Papers 
over the past century, the original document was located. A photocopy was 
thereupon furnished to the Editor in Chief of the Adams Papers, Dr. 
Lyman H. Butterfield, who wrote Mr. H. G. Jones, State Archivist, as fol- 
lows on November 8, 1961 : 

"In few words, to our great satisfaction, . . . you have recovered the 
long-lost original manuscript of the very first version of John Adams' in- 
fluential plan and the germ of his first important publication on constitu- 
tional law, entitled Thoughts On Government (Philadelphia, 1776). 

"This fills in a sad gap in the record of his work as a writer and political 
thinker. I will not repeat here what I have said about the problem in the 
recently published Dairy and Autobiography of John Adams, q.v. at vol. 
3, p. 331-333, but you may wish to place this reference with the manu- 
script. You may also wish to crow a little about your find, and I think you 
would be justified in doing so. ... I am therefore adding a point or two 
for you to make use of if you care to. 

"Of four markedly variant versions of his plan for new state govern- 
ments, written in the early spring of 1776 and widely read by those who 
were engaged in constitution-making, the original manuscripts of two 
are now known: those composed for and given to William Hooper and 
John Penn respectively, the first of which is now in the North Carolina 
Archives and the second now in the Massachusetts Historical Society's 
Washburn Collection. The version Adams prepared for George Wythe was 
printed as Thoughts on Government and has been from time to time re- 
printed, as in Adams' Works, edited by his grandson C. F. Adams, vol. 4, 
p. 193-200. The version prepared for and sent to Jonathan Dickinson 
Sergeant for use in the New Jersey constitutional convention has never 
been located, but one may still hope. 

"Since Adams neither dated nor signed his letter nor indicated its 
addressee's name, and since it was pulled out of its context when removed 
from Burke's papers, it has remained for a long time unrecognized for 
what it actually is — the first of John Adams' several attempts to place a 
constitutional groundwork under the new states just coming into being, 
to provide a constructive counterpart, one might say, to the necessarily 
destructive work which Thomas Paine' s tremendously influential pamphlet 
Common Sense was doing in the spring of 1776. 

"The editors of the Adams Papers are always on the watch for stray 
letters and documents, whether in public archives or private attics. Only 
through such help can their work be successfully conducted. Dr. Butterfield 
can be addressed at the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston 
Street, Boston 15, Massachusetts." 



Historical News 113 

Division of Historic Sites 

On October 26-27 Mr. W. S. Tarlton, Historic Sites Superintendent, at- 
tended the meeting of the Historic American Buildings Survey Advisory 
Board of which he is a member. The Advisory Board assists the National 
Park Service in the conduct of the Historic American Buildings survey, a 
joint undertaking of the Park Service, the American Institute of Architects, 
and the Library of Congress. Mr. Tarlton was elected Secretary of the 
Board and was appointed to a special Committee to study and recommend 
procedures for handling the HABS materials deposited in the Library of 
Congress. On November 3 Mr. Tarlton accompanied Dr. Crittenden to a 
meeting in Bath of the Historic Bath Commission. Restoration of the 
Palmer-Marsh House and the Bonner House has progressed rapidly in 
recent months and both are nearly complete. Restoration of the grounds 
and outbuildings remains as the major unfinished business at both places. 
Committees of the Commission are working on the furnishings. Mr. Ed- 
mund H. Harding of Washington is Chairman of the Commission. Mr. Tarl- 
ton has assisted several additional projects in restoration processes and 
other matters. These include the Setzer schoolhouse project, a mid-nine- 
teenth-century schoolhouse which has recently been moved from an in- 
accessible location in the country to the grounds of the Knox Junior High 
School in Salisbury, where it will be restored as a typical schoolhouse of 
its period. It will make a dramatic contrast with the ultra-modern junior 
high school building and will be a vivid illustration of the progress that 
has been made in public education in North Carolina. Mr. Tarlton has given 
advice to the group, headed by Miss Sue Smith of Dunn, which is restoring 
a typical Harnett County slave cabin at Chicora Cemetery on the Averas- 
boro Battlefield. The slave cabin will serve as headquarters for the recent 
improvements at Averasboro and will perhaps house some exhibits on 
the battle. Mr. Tarlton has worked with the landscape architects, Lewis 
Clarke and Associates of Raleigh, in planning a site layout for the Gover- 
nor Caswell Memorial at Kinston. Preliminary drawings have been made 
and are to be presented to the Governor Caswell Memorial Commission at 
an early meeting. He has worked with Mr. Richard C. Bell, landscape archi- 
tect of Raleigh, in planning grounds restoration at the historic buildings 
being restored in Bath and in planning an over-all town tour of Bath sites 
and buildings. Mr. Tarlton is a member of the committee consisting of 
Professor Chalmers Davidson of Davidson College and Mrs. Joseph Gra- 
ham of Lincolnton which is planning a program for marking historic sites 
which will be flooded by Lake Norman above Cowan's Ford on the Catawba 
River near Charlotte. 

The Charles B. Ay cock Birthplace State Historic Site was the meeting 
place for the Civil Defense Directors' wives on September 11. Mr. Richard 
W. Sawyer, Jr., Site Specialist, conducted a tour and the Fremont Garden 
Club served refreshments. Dr. D. J. Rose, Chairman of the Charles B. 
Aycock Memorial Commission ; Mr. W. S. Tarlton, Historic Sites Superin- 
tendent; and Mr. Sawyer met on October 5 to plan the Visitor Center- 
Museum for the Aycock Birthplace. On October 19 Mr. Sawyer spoke to 



114 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the Fremont Rotary Club on the "Historic Sites Program of North Caro- 
lina" with emphasis on the Aycock Birthplace. An old field one-room 
schoolhouse such as Aycock attended has been located, purchased by the 
Aycock Commission, and moved to the site during the week of November 
20. In addition to Dr. Rose, Mr. Hardy Talton of Goldsboro and Mr. H. L. 
Stephenson of Smithfield were on the committee to purchase the building. 
Mrs. Eleanor Bizzell Powell of Goldsboro is a new member of the Com- 
mission. Two school groups were led on a tour of the site and general 
attendance to date is 500 more than for 1960. The Aycock Birthplace played 
an important part in the opening and dedication of the Charles B. Aycock 
High School in Wayne County on December 3. The Fremont Garden Club 
decorated the Aycock Birthplace as for a typical Christmas of a hundred 
years ago and the Birthplace was open for visitation. 

Negotiations are now under way for the purchase of 2.32 acres of land 
adjacent to the Zebulon B. Vance Birthplace State Historic Site to be used 
for the construction of a Visitor Center-Museum. An appropriation of 
$42,000 was made for this project by the 1961 General Assembly. As the 
birthplace itself depicts the humble beginnings of the Civil War governor, 
so will the exhibits in the Visitor Center-Museum tell the story of Zeb 
Vance's unique accomplishments in public life — as a lawyer, soldier, and 
statesman. Following completion of the Vance Museum, expected some 
time in 1962, a log barn and a corn crib will be erected to provide the last 
of eight exhibition buildings planned for the site. The birthplace, smoke- 
house, springhouse, slaves' quarters, and loom house are now open to the 
public. When funds are available, a caretaker's house will also be con- 
structed on the site to provide added protection for the buildings and their 
furnishings. The Vance Birthplace was dedicated by the State Department 
of Archives and History on May 13, 1960, the one hundred thirty-first an- 
niversary of Vance's birth. Attendance from that time until the end of 
1961 was approximately 5,000. Greater attendance is anticipated when the 
site is completed. 

Mr. Nicholas B. Bragg, Historic Site Specialist at Bentonville Battle- 
ground State Historic Site, met with the Battleground Advisory Committee 
in Clinton on August 29. He presented the "Story of Bentonville" as a part 
of an orientation program for this group. The Advisory Committee met 
again on October 4 to discuss the financial aspects of the Bentonville site. 
Wake County has joined Johnston, Harnett, Sampson, and Wayne counties 
to form this advisory committee headed by Mr. Roy C. Coates as Chairman. 
Representatives are Mrs. D. S. Coltrane, Wake; Mrs. Nathan M. Johnson, 
Harnett; Mr. Conway Rose, Wayne; Dr. Luby F. Royall, Jr., Johnston; 
and Mrs. Taft Bass and Mr. Maddrey Bass, Sampson. This committee 
is leading a $41,000 fund-raising campaign to be used with the $26,000 
appropriated by the General Assembly for a Visitor Center-Museum, the 
opening of trails, the preparation of outdoor exhibits, and the completion 
of the restoration of the Harper House. More than 1,500 people attended 
the "Emphasis Bentonville" day on September 17 at which Governor Terry 






Historical News 115 

Sanford made the principal address. The Advisory Committeee, the State 
Department of Archives and History, the Confederate Centennial Com- 
mission, and many local groups and patriotic organizations participated 
in this program. Mr. Bragg spoke on Bentonville at the "History Night'' 
banquet on October 11 when the State United Daughters of the Confed- 
eracy met in Asheville. The Dunn Book Club met at the Bentonville Battle- 
ground site on October 18 and enjoyed a lecture and tour given by Mr. 
Bragg. He spoke again in High Point on November 10 on the Battle of 
Bentonville and the work at the site to the Civil War Round Table. Visita- 
tion at Bentonville from April 11 to September 16 of last year was 2,624, 
representing 30 States, the District of Columbia, England, and Germany. 
The site is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 to 5:00 and on 
Sunday from 2 : 00 to 5 :00. 

Mr. Perry Young, a junior in Journalism at the University of North 
Carolina, has been employed temporarily to meet the public at the Ben- 
nett Place State Historic Site. Mr. Young will be on duty Saturdays and 
Sundays from 1 :00 to 5 :00. The house will be open to the public — groups, 
clubs, and organizations — by appointment at any time on weekdays. For 
information write Mr. N. B. Bragg, Box 1881, Raleigh, who is supervising 
the Bennett Place, as well as Bentonville. 

The excavation of the site for the permanent Visitor Center-Museum at 
Town Creek Indian Mound State Historic Site was completed in late Octo- 
ber. An area of 7,000 square feet was covered in the excavation. No new 
information concerning the aboriginal occupation was uncovered, but a 
trash pit and the corners of a shed or barn which were part of a nineteenth- 
century farm site were encountered and excavated. Burials in the recently 
completed mortuary have received further cleaning and preservation. 
Mr. Bennie C. Keel, Historic Site Specialist at Town Creek, and Dr. Joffre 
L. Coe are in the process of analyzing and interpreting materials from the 
mortuary. This information will be used in presenting the mortuary to 
visitors. Mr. Keel spoke to the Tar River Chapter, Archaeological Society 
of North Carolina, and to the Mt. Gilead P. T. A. on problems of recon- 
struction at Town Creek. He attended the annual meeting of the North 
Carolina Archaeological Society in Goldsboro on October 7, the annual 
meeting of the Eastern States Archaeological Federation in Williamsburg 
on October 28-29, and the Southeastern Archaeological Conference at 
Occmulgee National Monument in Macon, Georgia, on November 30. 

Mr. Stanley A. South, Archeologist in charge of Brunswick Town State 
Historic Site, reports that the ruins of the home of Captain Stephen Parker 
Newman (1775) have been completely excavated and many items of 
historical and scientific interest recovered. The ruin was covered when 
the Confederate earthworks were thrown up at Fort Anderson, and more 
than six feet of sand was recently removed. The Newman home escaped 
the Brunswick fire of 1776 and was used until the early years of the nine- 
teenth century. Mr. South, one of the organizers of The Conference on 
Historic Site Archaeology, read two papers at the November 30 meeting 



116 The North Carolina Historical Review 

in Macon, Georgia. He also attended the Williamsburg meeting of the 
Eastern States Archaeological Federation and the Goldsboro meeting of 
the Archaeological Society of North Carolina where he presented a display- 
on Brunswick Town, Fort Fisher, and the Indians of the Lower Cape Fear 
area. Mr. South, in preparing for one of the papers presented in Macon, 
photographed numerous seals, belonging to persons during the colonial 
period, in the State Archives and the University of North Carolina Lib- 
rary. Many seals are no longer extant, having been destroyed when the 
documents were laminated. Those preserved through photography will 
be of value to archeologists who find matrices in ruins. Members of the 
Lower Cape Fear Archaeological Society and Mr. South visited the site 
of an Indian mound near Fayetteville being excavated by Lt. Col. Howard 
A. MacCord of Fort Bragg. Mr. South discovered an Archaic occupation 
level with hearthstones and spearpoints over 4,000 years old. Members of 
the society also visited Brunswick Town where they assisted in the excava- 
tion of a foundation of a building (lot 28) owned by Judge Maurice Moore 
in 1769. Mr. South has recently correlated, by analysis, the dates of the 
kaolin pipe stems with the china and deed records of Brunswick Town. 
These data have been compiled into a chart. The garden clubs of Southport 
have secured district endorsement and are seeking State Garden Club ap- 
proval for the project of restoring a colonial garden and maintaining a 
nature trail at Brunswick Town. Mr. South spoke to several schools and 
organizations and conducted tours of the site. 

Mr. A. L. Honeycutt, Historic Site Specialist at Fort Fisher State His- 
toric Site, reports that the Fort Fisher Museum-Pavilion has been com- 
pleted and the displays installed, and that it is now open to the public daily 
from 8:00 to 5:00. On October 13 representatives of New Hanover County 
and interested local groups met at Battle Acre — which New Hanover 
County recently deeded to the State — to inspect the progress of the 
pavilion. The inspection received newspaper and television coverage. Those 
attending included Mr. Glenn M. Tucker and Mrs. Alice Strickland, co- 
chairmen of the Fort Fisher Restoration Committee ; Mr. J. W. Washburn, 
Mayor of Carolina Beach, and Mr. Stacy Thomas, City Manager; Mr. 
Alex Fonvielle, the contractor ; and representatives of the Woman's Club 
and Lions Club of Carolina Beach and the New Hanover County Chapter 
of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Contributions from the county 
and local clubs matched State funds to pay for the temporary Museum- 
Pavilion. On October 7 Mr. Honeycutt attended the twenty-seventh an- 
nual meeting of the Archaeological Society of North Carolina which met 
in Goldsboro and on October 11 he spoke at the Asheville meeting of the 
United Daughters of the Confederacy. On October 31 he met with the 
Lower Cape Fear Archaeological Society and on November 7 spoke to the 
Wilmington Junior Chamber of Commerce on "The Historical Importance 
of Fort Fisher: Development, Plans, and Progress." Mr. Honeycutt' s 
article, "Fort Fisher National Park Proposed (1907-1910)," was published 
in the November Lower Cape Fear Historical Society, Inc. Bulletin and 
on November 8 he attended a meeting of the Lower Cape Fear Society. 






Historical News 117 

He spoke at the High Point Civil War Round Table meeting on Novem- 
ber 10. Mr. John D. Miller, a graduate of New Hanover High School, will 
be responsible for the general maintenance of the 180-acre site and will 
assist the site specialist in other ways. On November 4 Secretary of the 
Interior Stewart L. Udall announced that Fort Fisher was one of 32 sites 
eligible for historic landmark status. It was selected by the National Park 
Service and will be listed in a registry of historic landmarks. The registry 
resulted from a survey authorized by the 1935 Congress. 

Division of Museums 

On September 18 and 19 Mrs. Joye E. Jordan Museum Administrator, 
attended a television premiere in Charlotte and on September 21 gave 
to the Raleigh Jaycettes an after-dinner slide-lecture on the Tryon Palace 
Restoration. She met with a committee in Hillsboro on September 29 to 
discuss museum organization for the Orange County Historical Museum 
and also visited the Bennett Place with Mrs. W. M. Piatt to discuss items 
pertaining to the restoration of the site. On October 4 she talked on 
"Christmas 100 Years Ago" to the Fremont Garden Club which decorated 
the Charles B. Aycock Birthplace and site for the Christmas holidays. On 
October 5 she attended the opening of the "Country Store" Exhibit at the 
Greensboro Historical Museum. On October 24 Mrs. Jordan accompanied 
to the University of North Carolina Library and the Duke University 
Library the Meredith students who are taking the internship course in 
the Department of Archives and History. She has been instructing a num- 
ber of these students in various phases of museum work. From November 
1 to 4 she attended the annual meeting of the Southeastern Museums Con- 
ference in New Orleans, La., and on November 4 and 5 she attended the 
meeting of the Confederate Centennial Commission in Jackson, Mississippi. 
She visited the Charles B. Aycock Birthplace on November 9 to discuss 
museum plans for that site, and was in Richmond, Virginia, November 15 
and 16 with Mr. Norman C. Larson for a conference on the Confederate 
Museum. 

Division of Publications 

The Division of Publications has revised its list of books and pamphlets 
available from the State Department of Archives and History; the pam- 
phlet is being distributed free upon request. A sheet containing twelve 
maps showing the formation of the North Carolina counties was published, 
and brochures on Fort Fisher and Brunswick Town were issued for the 
Historic Sites Division. 

Increased efforts were made to publicize the availability of materials on 
North Carolina history. In addition to a number of news releases, an article 
on the Division of Publications and its work was carried in the October 14, 
1961, issue of The State; several short articles were included in The North 
Carolina Education Association Bulletin; and spot announcements were 
sent to the North Carolina radio and television stations, giving informa- 
tion about the publications of the Department. A mimeographed sheet of 
information about the Department's publications was sent to all public 



118 The North Carolina Historical Review 

school libraries, through the co-operation of the Department of Public 
Instruction, and various informational materials were sent to the public 
and college libraries through the State Library. Notices were sent to ap- 
proximately 2,000 persons announcing the publication of The Poems of 
Governor Thomas Burke of North Carolina and Clement Hall's A Collection 
of Many Christian Experiences. The Confederate Centennial Commission 
and the leaders in the United Daughters of the Confederacy have assisted 
in publicizing publications on the Civil War. 

During the quarter July 1 through September 30, 1961, receipts from 
the sale of publications totaled $3,241.65. A total of 36 documentary vol- 
umes, 385 small volumes, and 8,209 pamphlets was sold and 780 governors' 
letter books were distributed. There were 68 new subscriptions and 256 
renewals to The North Carolina Historical Review. 

The special sale of back issues of The Review is proving successful. Forty 
sets had been sold by November 15. Though the Department does not 
guarantee an unbroken set, few issues are missing. Sets of thirty-eight 
volumes, covering the years 1924 through 1961, are being sold for $25 ; they 
are sent to the purchaser express collect. The sale will be continued through 
March 31. 

The Advisory Editorial Board of the Department met on September 22. 
Three members of the Board, Dr. Frontis W. Johnston, Dr. Robert H. 
Woody, and Dr. Sarah Lemmon, met with three editorial advisers, Dr. 
Paul Murray, Mr. William S. Powell, and Senator John R. Jordan, Jr., to 
review the entire publications program. Plans for new publications and 
suggestions for improvements are being implemented. Current members 
of the Advisory Board, who will serve from January 1, 1962, through June 
30, 1963, are Dr. Johnston, Dr. Woody, Dr. Lemmon, Mr. Powell, and 
Senator Jordan. 

Mrs. Memory F. Blackwelder, Editor, and Mr. H. G. Jones, State 
Archivist, represented the Department at the Southern Historical Associa- 
tion meetings in Chattanooga November 8-11. Mrs. Blackwelder spoke to 
the Canterbury Book Club in Raleigh on October 3, to the Alamance County 
Chapter of the Meredith College Alumnae Association on November 14, 
and to the student body of St. Mary's College in Raleigh on November 21. 
She was elected a trustee of the Olivia Raney Library in Raleigh in Sep- 
tember, and the Raleigh News and Observer selected Mrs. Blackwelder as 
"Tar Heel of the Week" on October 1. 



COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES 

Dr. J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, who was a member of the faculty of the 
University of North Carolina for 42 years, died at his home in Chapel 
Hill on November 11. Dr. Hamilton, 83 years of age, was a noted scholar, 
the author or editor of a number of volumes in the field of southern history, 
and the founder of the Southern Historical Collection of the University of 
North Carolina Library. This collection, one of the most significant in the 
nation, has been widely used by writers and researchers. 



Historical News 119 

Dr. Wallace Everett Caldwell, Professor of Ancient History at the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina since 1921, died at his Chapel Hill home on 
October 6. He was the author of four books and numerous articles in his 
field of ancient history. 

Dr. George B. Tindall delivered an address, 'The Metamorphosis of Pro- 
gressivism in the 1920's," at The Johns Hopkins University on November 
20, and had an article, "The South: Into the Mainstream," published in 
Current History, XL (May, 1961). Dr. Clifford M. Foust read a paper, 
"Who Cares About Confucius," at a meeting of the Southeastern American 
Studies Association in Miami on November 5. Members of the History De- 
partment of the University who participated in the sessions of the Southern 
Historical Association held in Chattanooga, November 9-11; were: Dr. 
Douglas D. Hale, who delivered a paper, "The Early Career of Henrick 
Von Gagern" ; Dr. James W. Patton, who served as chairman of the ses- 
sion, "Reconstruction: Negroes and Politics"; Chairman of the Depart- 
ment Carl H. Pegg, who presided at the European History Conference 
group; Mr. D. Alan Harris, who delivered a paper, "Milford W. Howard, 
Alabama Populist"; and Dr. James E. King, who served as a discussant 
at a program on English and French politics in the seventeenth century. 

Dr. Fletcher M. Green read a paper, "Cycles on American Democracy," 
at the Mississippi Valley Historical Association in Detroit in September. 
Dr. Robin D. S. Higham had a book, The British Rigid Airship Programme, 
1908-1931: A Study in Weapons Policy, published in London, and Dr. 
Hugh T. Lefler is the author of the section on North Carolina in both 
Colliers Encyclopedia Yearbook (1960) and The American Annual (1961). 
Dr. Loren C. MacKinney has had articles dealing with medical history 
published in Ciba Symposium, VIII (December, 1960) ; Spectrum, IX 
(January-February, 1961) ; and the Journal of American Pharmaceutical 
Association, I (March, 1961). Dr. Robert Moats Miller's article, "Method- 
ism, the Negro, and Ernest Fremont Tittle," was published in The Wis- 
consin Magazine of History, LXIV (Winter, 1960) ; and Dr. Frank W. 
Ryan's article, "The Opinions of Editor William Gilmore Simms of the 
Southern Quarterly Review, 1849-1854," was published in Proceedings of 
the South Carolina Historical Association, 1959 (1961). Dr. Peter F. 
Walker is the author of "Natchez," in the Encyclopedia Britannica, XVI 
(1961). 

Dr. Richard Bardolph, Chairman of the Department of History and 
Political Science, Woman's College of the University of North Carolina, 
served as commentator on October 12 and read a paper on October 14 at 
the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and 
History, October 12-14. His book, The Negro Vanguard, winner of the May- 
flower Award for 1960, was republished on October 12, 1961, by Random 
House in the Vintage Book Series. Miss Gail Boden, Miss Margaret Hunt, 
and Mr. George McCowen joined the faculty in September as Instructors, 
and Dr. Owen S. Connelly as Assistant Professor. Dr. Eugene Pfaff is on 
leave accompanying a student world tour under the auspices of the In- 
ternational School of America, and Dr. Franklin D. Parker was in Peru 
as a Fulbright Lecturer during the fall semester. 



120 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Dr. Philip Africa, Head of the Department of History at Salem College, 
served as a part-time lecturer in history at the Woman's College, Univer- 
sity of North Carolina, during the fall semester. 

Dr. Stuart Noblin of the Department of History, North Carolina State 
College, read a paper, "A Voice of Agriculture : Recent Policies of the Na- 
tional Grange," at the October 20 meeting of the Historical Society of 
North Carolina. Dr. Burton F. Beers organized and served as chairman 
of the session, "Diplomacy and Strategy in the Early Twentieth Century," 
at the Southern Historical Association, Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 
11; Dr. J. Leon Helguera attended a joint meeting, November 13-24, of 
the Third Congress in Hispanic-American History and the Second His- 
panic-American Congress in Cartagena, Columbia, and prepared a paper 
which was read in his absence on "Research Opportunities in Modern 
Latin America: Bolivarian Nations," for the meeting of the Southern 
Historical Association. Dr. Marvin L. Brown, Jr., served on the program 
committee of the American Historical Association which met December 
28-SO. Faculty promotions effective July 1, 1961, were: Dr. Beers to As- 
sociate Professor and Dr. Oliver H. Orr, Jr., to Assistant Professor. Mr. 
Stanley Suval, doctoral candidate at the University of North Carolina, 
joined the faculty as Instructor in September and Dr. Ladislas F. Reitzer 
resigned. 

Dr. Robert F. Durden of the Duke University history faculty read a 
paper, "South Dakota v. North Carolina (1904) : An Interstate Law Suit 
and the Aftermath of North Carolina Populism," at the Southern His- 
torical Association and Dr. Anne Firor Scott read a paper on "The New 
Woman in the New South" at the same meeting. Dr. Donald G. Gillin's 
article, "Peasant and Communist in Modern China," was published in the 
South Atlantic Quarterly (Autumn, 1961), and Dr. Charles R. Young had 
a book, English Borough and Royal Administration, 1130-1307, published 
in October by the Duke University Press. Dr. Richard A. Preston will join 
the faculty in February as Professor of History. Dr. Joel Colton received a 
Rockefeller Foundation Grant for study for the fall of 1961; Dr. I. B. 
Holley, Jr., received a Social Science Research Council Grant for the 
1961-1962 scholastic year ; and Dr. Alfred Tischendorf received an award 
from the American Council of Learned Societies, Social Science Research 
Council, effective in the spring, 1962, for a year of Latin American studies. 
Mr. Clark G. Reynolds, M.A. candidate, had an article on the aircraft 
carrier "Saratoga," " 'Sara' in the East," in United States Naval Institute 
Proceedings, LXXXVII (December, 1961). 

Dr. Lillian Parker Wallace, Chairman of the Department of History 
and Political Science at Meredith College, is acting as Consultant for the 
State Department of Public Instruction in establishing the State-wide pro- 
gram of world history in the secondary schools. Dr. Sarah M. Lemmon 
has two brief articles in the Radcliff e College's publication, Notable Ameri- 
can Women, 



Historical News 121 

The Johnson C. Smith University of Charlotte has recently published 
Down Through the Years, compiled by Dr. Arthur Henry George and 
dedicated to the memory of Dr. Arthur Allen George. The book traces the 
history of the University from its founding, emphasizing the personalities 
who have been associated with the school as teachers or benefactors. 
Prepared in anticipation of the 1967 centennial, the booklet gives a sum- 
mation of the contribution of Biddle University (now Johnson C. Smith) to 
the educational progress of the State. 

STATE, COUNTY, AND LOCAL GROUPS 

The Roanoke Island Historical Association held its annual business 
meeting and subscription luncheon at the Hotel Sir Walter in Raleigh on 
November 28. Mrs. Fred W. Morrison of Kill Devil Hills and Washington, 
D. C, was elected Chairman, her term of office to begin at the expiration 
of that of Mrs. 0. Max Gardner of Shelby. Reports on the 1961 operations 
of the outdoor drama, "The Lost Colony/' by Mr. J. S. Dorton, Jr., revealed 
that the season was financially successful for the first time in a number 
of years. 

The North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs held its fifth annual 
Music Day on November 28. Mrs. Harold G. Deal of Hickory, President, 
presided and Governor Terry Sanford made the principal address. The 
highlight of the evening program was a concert by Mr. William Alton, 
Greensboro pianist, who is North Carolina's first National Young Artist 
Winner. He received the $1,000 award last April. Mrs. Walter Vassar of 
Greensboro introduced him. The invocation was sung by a quartet under 
the direction of Mrs. J. P. Freeman, Director of the Needham Broughton 
High School Choral Group of Raleigh, accompanied by Miss Rennie Pea- 
cock. The quartet was composed of Miss Betsy Ann Phif er, soprano ; Miss 
Sue Strong, alto; Mr. Calvin Horton, bass; and Mr. Andy Little, tenor. 
Miss Sally Wyly of Gastonia, coloratura soprano, also appeared on the 
program with Mr. Huskey Wofford as her accompanist. The Federation 
made no awards for 1961 as no winners were selected from those sub- 
mitting entries. 

The thirty-fifth annual meeting of the North Carolina State Art Society 
was held on November 29. Dr. Joseph C. Sloane, Chairman of the Depart- 
ment of Art at the University of North Carolina and Director of the 
Ackland Museum, was elected President succeeding Dr. Robert Lee 
Humber of Greenville, who has served as head of the Society for the past 
ten years. Mrs. George W. Paschal, Jr., was elected Vice-President, Mr. 
Charles Lee Smith, Treasurer, and Mrs. J. C. B. Ehringhaus, Jr., Execu- 
tive Secretary. All three are Raleigh residents. The members elected four 
new directors and reaffirmed the previous election of four directors whose 
terms were interrupted by a legal technicality at the time the Society and 
the State Art Museum were divorced by legislative mandate. The member- 
ship also approved previous action of the board of directors in turning 



122 The North Carolina Historical Review 

over to the State its museum assets. Dr. Humber reported that the mu- 
seum's collection is now valued at more than seven million dollars ; he also 
reported that the State had appropriated a total of $892,000 for the opera- 
tion of the museum since it opened in 1956. Mr. J. A. Kellenberger offered 
a motion that a resolution be drafted in appreciation of the work of Dr. 
Humber. Other persons presenting reports were Mr. Ben Williams, Cura- 
tor of the Museum of Art, and Mr. Charles Stanford, Curator of Education. 
Mrs. W. Frank Taylor of Goldsboro, Membership Chairman, reported that 
the total membership of the Society is 1,347, an increase of 347 over 1960. 
Dr. Justus Bier, Museum Director, discussed recent acquisitions, and the 
resignation of Mr. Carl W. Hamilton of New York as consultant was ac- 
cepted. Mrs. John N. Pearce, Curator at the White House, addressed the 
Society at the evening meeting. Following the meeting a preview of North 
Carolina Artists' Competition entries and a reception were held. Announce- 
ment of the winners of the five $100 Art Society awards was made, as 
follows : Mr. Russell W. Arnold of the Atlantic Christian College Art De- 
partment for his painting, "No. 5 — 1961" ; Mr. Roy Gussow of the North 
Carolina State College School of Design for his bronze sculpture, "Two 
Forms" ; Miss Mackey Jeffries of the Meredith College Art Department for 
her painting, "Waiting" ; Miss Ann Carter Pollard of Winston-Salem for 
painting, "Mykonos: Slaughter of Sheep"; and Mr. William Mangum of 
the Salem College Art Department for his portrait, "Dr. George Herring." 
More than 500 entries were submitted and from this number Mr. Andrew 
C. Richie, Director of the Yale Art Gallery, selected 143 for the exhibition 
and the five award winners. 

The North Carolina Society for the Preservation of Antiquities held its 
twenty-first annual meeting on November 30 with the President, Mr. Ed- 
mund H. Harding of Washington, presiding at the three sessions. Officers 
elected are Mrs. J. O. Tally, Jr., of Fayetteville, President ; Mr. Dan Paul 
of Raleigh, Vice-President ; and Mrs. Ernest A. Branch of Raleigh, Secre- 
tary-Treasurer. Reports on preservation projects were made by the follow- 
ing : "What our Society Has Done in the Past," by Mrs. Tally and "What 
We Should be Doing," by Mrs. Ernest L. Ives of Southern Pines. At the 
luncheon meeting Mr. Harding introduced Mrs. Edward Pryor, who spoke 
on her home town of Bath, England, which has an American museum. Mrs. 
Pryor was made an official member of North Carolina's Historic Bath 
Commission by Governor Terry Sanf ord on November 29. She brought gifts 
for the Palmer-Marsh House at Bath and greetings from the Marquis of 
Bath, the Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells, and his Worship, the Mayor 
of Bath, England. Mr. Harding also introduced a second speaker, "Sir 
Ronald Palmer," as a traveler and author from London, England. The 
speaker presented his observations on America and Americans before 
Mr. Harding disclosed that he was a fake and was in reality a humorist, 
Mr. Art Breece of Hot Springs, Arkansas. At the evening session Governor 
Terry Sanf ord presented the Cannon Awards, given annually for excel- 
lence in historical preservation and restoration, to Hon. R. O. Everett of 
Durham for his work in the restoration of the Bennett Place ; Hon. Smith 



Historical News 123 

Richardson of Greensboro and New York for work in the Colonial Bath 
project and other projects in the State; Mr. John Taylor of New Bern for 
restoration of a building at New Bern ; and Mrs. W. C. Tucker of Greens- 
boro for placing historical markers at several sites in the State. The Lit- 
tleton Woman's Club received the society's prize of $50 for the best club 
work in restoration and preservation. A highlight of the night session was 
the presentation of "Christmas in Carolina," a pantomine in five parts 
written by Mr. Harding and produced by East Carolina College students 
under the direction of Mr. J. A. Withey. Music was provided by the Men's 
Glee Club of the College with arrangements by Mr. Charles Stevens. A 
reception for members and guests followed the play. 

The sixty-first annual meeting of the North Carolina Literary and His- 
torical Association was held on December 1 with Mrs. Bernice Kelly Harris 
of Seaboard, President, presiding at the morning session. Officers elected 
were Dr. Chalmers G. Davidson of Davidson, President; and three Vice- 
Presidents : Judge Johnson J. Hayes of Wilkesboro, Mr. L. S. Blades, Jr., 
of Elizabeth City, and Mr. Henry Jay MacMillan of Wilmington. Dr. 
Christopher Crittenden was re-elected Secretary-Treasurer; Mrs. Harry 
McMullan of Washington, N. C, and Mrs. Dana H. Harris of Brevard were 
elected members of the Executive Committee. Mr. Weimar Jones of 
Franklin spoke on " A Country Editor Speaks His Mind," Mr. LeGette 
Blythe of Huntersville spoke on "An Unpublished Wolfe Episode," Dr. 
Preston W. Edsall of Raleigh reviewed North Carolina nonfiction for the 
year 1960-1961, and Dr. M. L. Skaggs of Greensboro presented the R. D. W. 
Connor Award to Dr. Richard L. Watson, Jr., for his article, "A Political 
Leader Bolts — F. M. Simmons in the Presidential Election of 1928," pub- 
lished in The North Carolina Historical Review. This award is made an- 
nually by the Historical Society of North Carolina for the best article pub- 
lished in The Review. Mr. W. S. Tarlton, member of the Council of the 
American Association for State and Local History, presented the 1961 
Awards of Merit to the following : Burlington-Alamance County Chamber 
of Commerce for its co-operation with the State Department of Archives 
and History in developing Alamance Battleground (received by Mr. George 
Colclough, Manager of the Chamber) ; the Western North Carolina His- 
torical Association for promoting interest in local history and especially 
for assistance in the restoration of the Zebulon B. Vance Birthplace (re- 
ceived by Mr. Albert McLean, President) ; the Moravian Music Foundation 
in Winston-Salem for its program of research, and recording and dis- 
seminating information, in the field of American Moravian music (re- 
ceived by Dr. Donald McCorkle, Director) ; and the University of North 
Carolina Press and the Virginia Historical Society for their publication of 
Colonial Virginia by Richard L. Morton (received by Mr. Lambert Davis, 
Director of the University Press) . Mr. William F. Lewis of Asheville pre- 
sided at the luncheon at which Mr. John Alex McMahon of Chapel Hill 
made an address on "North Carolina's Local Records Program." Mr. 
Francis Speight of Greenville presented the Roanoke-Chowan Poetry 
Award to Mr. Carl Sandburg for his volume, Wind Song, which was ac- 



124 The North Carolina Historical Review 

cepted by Miss Cordelia Camp of Asheville in the absence of the winner. 
Mrs. Cecil Gilliatt of Shelby presented the American Association of 
University Women Juvenile Literature Award to Mr. Glen Rounds of Pine 
Bluff for his Beaver Business, An Almanac, which was accepted for Mr. 
Rounds by Mrs. Harris. Mr. David Stick of Kill Devil Hills presided at the 
dinner meeting and Mrs. Bernice Kelly Harris made her presidential 
Address. Governor Terry Sanford presided at the evening meeting at 
which Dr. Lenoir Chambers, Norfolk editor and author, spoke on "The 
South on the Eve of the Civil War." Governor Sanford presented the 
North Carolina Literary and Historical Association's Corporate Citizen- 
ship Award to Hanes Hosiery Mills Company of Winston-Salem. Mr. 
Gordon Hanes, President, accepted the award. Mrs. William T. Powell of 
High Point presented the Mayflower Cup award to Mr. LeGette Blythe of 
Huntersville for his nonfiction, Thomas Wolfe and His Family. The Sir 
Walter Raleigh award was presented to Mr. Frank Borden Hanes of 
Winston-Salem for his work of fiction, The Fleet Rabble, by Miss Clara 
Booth Byrd of Greensboro, President of the Historical Book Club of North 
Carolina, Inc. A reception for members and guests was held following the 
meeting. 

Mr. Norman C. Larson, President, presided at the fiftieth annual session 
of the North Carolina Folklore Society on December 1. Dr. Daniel W. 
Patterson of Chapel Hill spoke on "Folk Elements in the Music of the 
Shakers," Miss Lucia S. Morgan of Chapel Hill spoke on "The Speech of 
Ocracoke Island," and Mr. Frank M. Warner of Farmingdale, New York, 
spoke on "Folksongs of the American Wars." Officers elected were Mr. 
Richard Walser, President; Miss Ruth Jewell, First Vice-President; and 
Gen. John D. F. Phillips, Second Vice-President, all of Raleigh. Dr. A. P. 
Hudson of Chapel Hill was re-elected Secretary-Treasurer. 

The North Carolina Symphony Society held its annual dinner meeting 
of the Executive Committee on December 1 at the Hotel Sir Walter. 

On December 2 the Historical Book Club of North Carolina held its an- 
nual breakfast in honor of the winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Cup. This 
year's winner, Mr. Frank Borden Hanes, was unable to be present, but 
members representing a number of towns attended. This year marks the 
first time that an award winner's wife has been a member of the club. 

Mr. LeGette Blythe, second-time winner of the Mayflower Cup, and offi- 
cers of the Central Carolina Colony of the Society of Mayflower Descen- 
dants were honored at the annual breakfast meeting on December 2. 

Dr. Blackwell P. Robinson of Greensboro was elected President of the 
North Carolina Society of County and Local Historicans at its twentieth 
annual meeting on December 2. Other officers elected were Mr. S. T. Peace 
of Henderson, Mrs. Musella W. Wagner of Chapel Hill, and Mr. John H. 
McPhaul, Jr., of Fayetteville, all Vice-Presidents. Mrs. Ida B. Kellam of 



Historical News 125 

Wilmington is Secretary-Treasurer. Mr. Hugh B. Johnson, Jr., of Wilson 
presided at the meetings and reports were presented on the historical tours 
sponsored by the society. The Peace County History Award, presented 
every two years, was won by Mr. Manly Wade Wellman of Chapel Hill for 
his The County of Warren. The Smithwick Newspaper Award for the best 
newspaper or magazine article related to local history or biography was 
presented to Mr. William S. Powell for his article, "How Come Rumbling 
Bald Is Called Rumbling Bald?" which appeared in The State. Smithwick 
Certificates of Merit were awarded to Mr. T. J. Lassiter of Smithfield and 
Mr. F. C. Salisbury of Morehead City. The Hodges High School Award 
was not made this year as there was no candidate. Mr. McDaniel Lewis 
of Greensboro offered a resolution, which was unanimously accepted by the 
Society, commending Mr. D. L. Corbitt of Raleigh for his work in the 
publication of North Carolina history. Dr. H. H. Cunningham of Elon Col- 
lege made the principal address at the morning meeting on "Medical High- 
lights at Second Manassas." Mr. David Stick of Kill Devil Hills spoke at 
the luncheon meeting on "Civil War Sidelights on the North Carolina 
Coast." 

On November 28 Governor and Mrs. Terry Sanford were hosts at a re- 
ception at the Governor's Mansion to members and guests of all the socie- 
ties participating in Culture Week. 

The Beaufort County Historical Society met in Bath on August 27 at 
the Palmer-Marsh House, which the group inspected as well as the Bonner 
House. Mr. Edmund H. Harding, President, was in charge of the meeting 
and tour. The group discussed the possibility of developing other historic 
sites, one of which the Society recently purchased — the A. M. E. Zion 
Church on Bonner's Point. The Society voted to mark the famous "Horse 
Tracks" on Camp Leach road on the Ed Cutler property, to preserve this 
unusual phenomenon. The group is also sponsoring the publication of a 
Beaufort County history, being written by Col. C. Wingate Reed, U. S. N. 
(Ret.). Officers re-elected were Mr. Edmund H. Harding, President; Mrs. 
F. S. Worthy, Vice-President; Mrs. Wilton Smith, Secretary-Treasurer. 

The Catawba County Historical Association met on September 9 and 
October 14 with Mrs. J. M. Ballard, President, presiding. General John 
D. F. Phillips, Executive Secretary of the Carolina Charter Tercentenary 
Commission, was the speaker at the September meeting and the Rev. 
Robert J. Blumer spoke at the October meeting. The Association will co- 
sponsor with the Lincoln County group the reprinting of the Lincoln Coun- 
ty marriage bonds. Mr. and Mrs. Rome Jones have deeded the W. F. Rader 
property in Newton to the group as a possible house for the Catawba 
County historical museum. Officers re-elected were Mrs. Ballard, Presi- 
dent; Mr. Thomas W. War lick, Vice-President; Mr. G. Sam Rowe, Second 
Vice-President ; Mrs. Roy Smyre, Secretary ; Mrs. P. G. Snyder, Treasurer ; 
Mr. Gene Haf er, Historican ; and Mr. Paul Wagner, Custodian. 



126 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Mr. T. Harry Gatton, Executive Director of the North Carolina Bankers 
Association, was the featured speaker at the meeting of the Person County 
Historical Society on September 13 in Roxboro. 

The Perquimans County Historical Society met on September 25 with 
President Stephen Perry presiding. Mrs. R. M. Riddick and Mrs. Raymond 
Winslow were in charge of the program. 

Mr. W. S. Tarlton, Historic Sites Superintendent of the State Department 
of Archives and History, was the speaker at the September 26 meeting of 
the Swansboro Historical Association. The Association was given an old 
house in Swansboro and Mr. Tarlton spoke on the problems of restoring 
historic houses. 

The Harnett County Historical Society met on October 1 at the Barbecue 
Presbyterian Church in Olivia, which dates from 1757. An exhibit of his- 
torical materials and artifacts from private collections was held. The 
Harnett County Civil War Centennial Committee was in charge of the 
meeting. 

The Brunswick County Historical Society met at the Camp Methodist 
Church, Shallotte, on October 2. Mr. Ray Wyche of Hallsboro spoke on 
"Blockade-Runners of the Cape Fear Area." 

On October 4 the New Bern Historical Association met at the Attmore- 
Oliver House with President John R. Taylor presiding. The group discuss- 
ed the possibility of qualifying for a grant from the Richardson Founda- 
tion. 

The North Carolina Archaeological Society met on October 7 in Golds- 
boro with Dr. J. C. Harrington, Chief of Interpretation, Region I, National 
Park Service, as the featured speaker. Dr. Harrington spoke on Indian 
history and a display of related items was presented. 

Mr. W. H. S. Burgwyn, Jr., of Woodland was elected President of the 
Northampton County Historical Society on October 6. Other officers elect- 
ed were Mr. W. S. Clarke, Vice-President ; and Mrs. J. M. Atkinson, Sec- 
retary-Treasurer. The program was presented by Mr. G. B. Fleetwood and 
Mr. Dudley Barnes. 

The Southern Appalachian Historical Association met in Boone on Oc- 
tober 9. Reports on "Horn in the West," sponsored by the Association, 
were made and plans outlined for next season's production. Officers elected 
for 1962 are Dr. I. G. Greer, President ; Mr. Herman W. Wilcox, Execu- 
tive Vice-President ; Mr. J. V. Caudill, Vice-President, and Mr. 0. K. Rich- 
ardson, Treasurer. 

The Caswell County Historical Association met October 11 in Yancey- 
ville. Mrs. L. B. Satterfield, President, presided. 



Historical News 127 

Mr. Ben Baker, former mayor, spoke on the history of Smithfield at the 
October 15 meeting of the Johnston County Historical Society. The group 
met at the Centenary Methodist Church. 

Mr. T. E. Storey, President, presided at the October 16 meeting of the 
Wilkes County Historical Society. 

The Bertie County Historical Association met in Roxobel on October 19. 
President Thomas Norfleet presided and Mr. John W. G. Powell, a native 
of Roxobel and husband of Dr. Janet Travell, personal physician to Presi- 
dent John F. Kennedy, talked informally to the group. 

The Chronicle, official organ of the Bertie Association, for October, 
1961, had an article, "The Renaissance in North Carolina," by Dr. Black- 
well P. Robinson. 

Mr. F. C. Salisbury, President of the Carteret County Historical Society, 
was re-elected at the October 21 meeting. Other officers elected were Mr. 
Thomas Respess, Secretary; Mr. John S. MacCormack, Treasurer; and 
Miss Amy Muse, Curator. A program on the history of the Atlantic hotels 
in Morehead City was presented by Mrs. J. H. Doughton and Mrs. F. C. 
Salisbury. Reports were made on the work of the Society, which is begin- 
ning its eight year. 

The Western North Carolina Historical Association and the Burke 
County Historical Society held a joint meeting in Morganton on October 
28. Mr. William A. Leslie of the Burke group presided and Dr. Edward W. 
Phifer was in charge of the program. Mr. Sam J. Ervin, III, Mr. W. Stan- 
ley Moore, Mrs. Sadie S. Patton, Mrs. E. P. White, and Mr. Clifton K. 
Avery were on the program. Dr. David English Carmack of Lake Junalus- 
ka was awarded the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Trophy for his book, Human 
Gold from Southern Mountains. 

The Lower Cape Fear Historical Society, Inc., Bulletin for November, 
1961, carried the annual presidential message from Mr. R. Jack Davis. An 
article on the New Hanover County Museum by Mrs. Ida Brooks Kellam 
and a special feature, "Fort Fisher National Park Proposed (1907-1910) ," 
by Mr. Ava L. Honeycutt, Jr., completed the Bulletin. The Society met on 
November 8 at the St. Andrews Covenant Presbyterian Church. Mr. Louis 
T. Moore spoke on "The Historical Significance of Third Street." 

In observance of the 200th anniversary of the establishment of Pitt 
County, the County Historical Society sponsored a special exhibit at the 
Greenville Art Center during November and December. Items were dis- 
played to trace the history of the county from January 1, 1761. Miss Tabi- 
tha M. De Visconti, Mrs. T. W. Rouse, Miss Venetia Cox, and Mr. Frank 
Wooten were in charge of the exhibit which opened officially November 5. 



128 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The Transylvania County Historical Association recently adopted a new 
seal, according to Mrs. G. H. Lyday, President. The seal was planned to 
coincide with the centennial of the establishment of the county. Designed 
by Mrs. Patricia Bennett of Brevard, the seal is a composite design of 
five points of emphasis — music, factory, resources, power, and a horn of 
plenty. The seal is centered with a covered wagon and bears the year 1861. 

The Mecklenburg Historical Association met on November 10 with Mr. 
George Houston, President, presiding. Mr. Houston also presented a re- 
port on the restoration of the graves of the signers of the Mecklenburg 
Declaration of Independence. 

Dr. Philip Africa, Head of the Department of History at Salem College, 
spoke on "The Attitude toward Slavery in the Early Salem Community" 
to the Wachovia Historical Society in Winston-Salem on November 27. 
Mr. John Fries Blair, President, presided and following the business meet- 
ing a preview tour of the Salem Tavern Barn Museum was made. 

Mr. Irving Lowens, Assistant Head of the Reference Section of the Li- 
brary of Congress' Music Division and Research Consultant of the Mora- 
vian Music Foundation, was presented the first Moramus Award for dis- 
tinguished service to American music on October 3 in Winston-Salem. Dr. 
Donald M. McCorkle, Director of the Foundation, presented the award. 
This institution, the only one of its kind, is devoting its full resources to 
advancing the knowledge of the American musical heritage. 

The Historical Society of North Carolina met at Wake Forest College 
in Winston-Salem on October 20, 1961. Papers were read by Dr. Stuart 
Noblin, Dr. Richard L. Watson, Jr., and Dr. Rosser H. Taylor, retiring 
President of the Society. Dr. Frontis W. Johnston was elected President 
and Dr. H. H. Cunningham was re-elected Secretary. New members elect- 
ed to the Society were Dr. Otis H. Singletary and Mrs. Memory F. Black- 
welder. 

Mrs. J. M. Ballard, President of the Catawba County Historical Associa- 
tion, has presented to the Department a copy of the reprinted edition of 
Marriage Bonds of Tryon and Lincoln Counties, North Carolina. First 
published in 1929, the volume has been reissued by the historical societies 
of Catawba and Lincoln counties. The bonds were abstracted and indexed 
by Curtis Bynum. 

The Department has received Thoughts of a Country Doctor by Dr. 
George Ammie McLemore, Sr., of Smithfield. The 52-page book contains 
a biographical sketch of Dr. McLemore and a number of poems written 
by him. Also included are toasts and several pages of "Aunt Roxie Says," 
pithy comments which appeared in The Smithfield Herald from November 
10, 1925, through March 21, 1930. 



Historical News 129 

Albemarle Annals, by Charles Crossfield Ware, is a booklet of slightly 
over 100 pages. Recently received by the Department, this publication con- 
tains brief sketches of the 66 churches of the Albemarle Christian Mission- 
ary Union and of the Union itself. Research for the booklet was done in 
the Carolina Discipliana Library at Atlantic Christian College. Paper 
bound copies for $1.00 and clothbound copies for $2.00 are available from 
Dr. Ware, Box 1164, Wilson, N. C. 

Thomas Pearson, grandson of Chief Justice Richmond M. Pearson, has 
written a booklet, Richmond Hill: A Guided Tour, which describes his 
ancestral home and its furnishings. This house, built on a Buncombe Coun- 
ty tract of land originally purchased by the Chief Justice in 1867, was 
named by Mr. Pearson's father for the famous Richmond Hill home of 
Chief Justice Pearson in Yadkin County. Addition information about the 
pamphlet may be obtained from Mr. Pearson, Richmond Hill, Asheville, 
North Carolina. 

Alexander Rountree Foushee has been a frequent contributor of letters 
to the Roxboro Courier, giving reminiscences of by-gone days of the town. 
Compiled and published in an eighty-one page booklet entitled Reminis- 
censes: A Sketch and Letters Descriptive of Life in Person County in 
Former Days, the letters cover a wide variety of subjects. County heads 
of families, doctors, teachers, customs and people in the 1850's, and prog- 
ress made in Roxboro from 1900 to 1914 are only a few of the topics dis- 
cussed by Mr. Foushee. This publication was sent to the Department 
through the courtesy of The Peoples Bank of Roxboro, the Carolina Power 
and Light Company, and the Roxboro Chamber of Commerce. Additional 
information may be obtained from the Chamber of Commerce. 

MISCELLANEOUS 

The Jamestown Foundation of the Commonwealth of Virginia announces 
the offer of a $500 research award for the best historical information about 
John Rolfe, his appearance, and mannerisms. The Foundation is conduct- 
ing the 350th anniversary celebration of the tobacco industry in the Unit- 
ed States, which will be held in 1962. The competition, which is open to 
any interested person, will close March 1, 1962. Complete details are avail- 
able from Mr. Parke Rouse, Jr., Jamestown Foundation, Box 1835, Wil- 
liamsburg, Virginia. 

Applications for the grants-in-aid for research, given twice annually 
by the Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Missouri, should be sent 
to Dr. Philip C. Brooks, Director, before April 1 and October 1, 1962. 

The American Association for State and Local History announced in 
November that the University of North Carolina Press will publish the 
Association's annual $1,000 prize-winning book-length manuscript in local- 



130 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ized history. The arrangement also provides for the publication of other 
meritorious manuscripts recommended by the Association's 23-member 
research and publication committee. Dean Clifford L. Lord of Columbia 
University heads this Committee. Dr. Clement M. Silvestro is Director 
of the Association and Mr. Lambert Davis is Director of the University 
Press. Full details of the manuscripts award and the grant-in-aid program 
may be obtained by writing Dr. Silvestro, 816 State Street, Madison 6* 
Wisconsin. 



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EDITORIAL POLICY 

The Editorial Board of The North Carolina Historical Review is 
interested in articles and documents pertaining to the history of North 
Carolina and adjacent States. Articles on the history of other sections 
may be submitted, and, if there are ties with North Carolinians or 
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give them careful consideration. Articles on any aspect of North Caro- 
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course, outweigh inadequate use of sources, incomplete coverage of 
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Persons desiring to submit articles for The North Carolina Historical 
Review should request a copy of The Editors Handbook, which may 
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tion on footnote citations and other pertinent facts needed by writers 
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The Editors Handbook and should use back issues of The North Caro- 
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separate sheets at the end of the article. The author should submit an 
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Following acceptance of an article, publication will be scheduled in 
accordance with the established policy of the Editorial Board. Since 
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The editors are also interested in receiving for review books relating 
to the history of North Carolina and the surrounding area. 

Articles and books for review should be sent to the Division of Pub- 
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The North Carolina Historical Review 



Christopher Crittenden, Editor 
Mrs. Memory F. Blackwelder, Managing Editor 
Mrs. Elizabeth W. Wilborn, Editorial Associate 

ADVISORY EDITORIAL BOARD 

Frontis W. Johnston Miss Sarah M. Lemmon 

John R. Jordan, Jr. William S. Powell 

Robert H. Woody 



STATE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY 
EXECUTIVE BOARD 

McDaniel Lewis, Chairman 

James W. Atkins Ralph P. Hanes 

Miss Gertrude Sprague Carraway Josh L. Horne 

Fletcher M. Green Daniel J. Whitener 

Christopher Crittenden, Director 



This review was established in January, 1924., as a medium of publication and dis- 
cussion of history in North Carolina. It is issued to other institutions by exchange, 
but to the general public by subscription only. The regular price is $3.00 per year. 
Members of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, Inc., for which 
the annual dues are $5.00, receive this publication without further payment. Back 
numbers may be purchased at the regular price of $3.00 per volume, or $.75 per 
number. The review is published quarterly by the State Department of Archives and 
History, Education Building, Corner of Edenton and Salisbury Streets. Second class 
postage paid at Raleigh, North Carolina. 



COVER — This pen and ink sketch of the Rowan Museum is used with the 
permission of Mrs. Gettys Guille, Director. Salisbury's oldest dwelling 
was formerly known as the Maxwell Chambers House and was erected in 
1819 by Judge James Martin. For an article on James Carter, one of the 
founders of Salisbury, see pages 131-139. 



Volume XXXIX Published in April, 1962 Number 2 

CONTENTS 



JAMES CARTER: FOUNDER OF SALISBURY 131 

Robert W. Ramsey 

SAGE OF A BURKE COUNTY FAMILY, PART II 140 

Edward W. Phifer 

ASPECTS OF THE NORTH CAROLINA SLAVE CODE, 

1715-1860 148 

Ernest James Clark, Jr. 

THE LOCAL RECORDS PROGRAM IN NORTH CAROLINA .165 

John Alexander McMahon 

A LAND MORE LARGE THAN EARTH 175 

Bernice Kelly Harris 

THE SOUTH ON THE EVE OF THE CIVIL WAR 181 

Lenoir Chambers 

LETTERS FROM NATHANIEL MACON TO JOHN 

RANDOLPH OF ROANOKE 195 

Edited by Elizabeth G. McPherson 

NORTH CAROLINA BIBLIOGRAPHY, 1960-1961 212 

William S. Powell 

BOOK REVIEWS 220 

HISTORICAL NEWS 249 



BOOK REVIEWS 



Hawks, History of North Carolina, 

by Hugh T. Lefler 220 

Meyer, The Highland Scots of North Carolina, 1732-1776, 

by Herbert R. Paschal, Jr. 222 

Blackwelder, The Age of Orange: Political and Intellectual Leadership 

in North Carolina, 1752-1861, 

by Marvin W. Schlegel 222 

Sharpe, A New Geography of North Carolina, Volume III 

by H. G. Jones 223 

MacMillan, A Goodly Heritage, 

by Herbert O'Keef 224 

Patton, A Condensed History of Flat Rock, 

by D. Hiden Ramsey . 225 

Noble, The School of Pharmacy of the University of North Carolina: 

A History, 

by R. B. House 225 

Spence, The Historical Foundation and Its Treasures, 

by Cyrus B. King 226 

Cathey, A Woman Rice Planter. By Patience Pennington, 

by Stuart Noblin . 228 

Parker, Van Meteren's Virginia, 1607-1612, 

by Jack P. Greene 229 

Servies and Dolmetsch, The Poems of Charles Hansford, 

by Mary Lynch Johnson 230 

Mason, My Dearest Polly: Letters of Chief Justice John Marshall 

to His Wife, 

by Memory F. Blackwelder 231 

Johnston, Virginia Railroads in the Civil War, 

by John G. Barrett 231 

Dowdey and Manarin, The Wartime Papers of R. E. Lee, 

by James W. Silver 233 

Bridges, Lee's Maverick General: Daniel Harvey Hill, 

by Glenn Tucker 234 

Frantz, Full Many a Name : The Story of Sam Davis, 

by T. Harry Gatton 236 

Dyer, From Shiloh to San Juan: The Life of "Fightin' Joe" Wheeler, 

by Louis H. Manarin 236 

Franklin, Reconstruction After the Civil War, 

by Fletcher M. Green . 238 

Abernethy, The South in the New Nation, 1789-1819, 

by John Edmond Gonzales 240 

Quarles, The Negro in the American Revolution, 

by Elisha P. Douglass 241 

Gipson, The Triumphant Empire: Thunder-Clouds Gather in the 

West, 1763-1766, 

by Carl B. Cone 242 

Main, The Antifederalists Critics of the Constitution, 1781-1788, 

by Christopher Crittenden 243 

Johannsen, The Letters of Stephen A. Douglas, 

by Peter F. Walker . . 244 

Hubbard, Origins of the TV A: The Muscle Shoals Controversy, 1920-1932, 

by Sarah McCulloh Lemmon 245 

Hall, Grave Humor: A Collection of Humorous Epitaphs, 

by Arlin Turner 246 

Hale, Guide to Photocopied Historical Materials in the United States 

and Canada, 

by H. G. Jones 247 

Middleton, The Interurban Era, 

by Michael J. Dunn, Jr. 248 



JAMES CARTER: FOUNDER OF SALISBURY 

By Robert W. Ramsey* 

Beginning in 1747-1748 and continuing until the outbreak of the 
French and Indian War in 1754, thousands of German, Scotch-Irish, 
Welsh, English, and Huguenot immigrants streamed into the fertile val- 
leys of western North Carolina. In 1753 because of the rapid influx of 
new settlers, the northern portion of Anson County was cut off and 
named Rowan. 1 The eastern boundary of the new county extended 
from where the Anson County border bisected Lord Granville's line 
north to the Virginia frontier. There was no limit to its westward extent. 

In the spring of 1753, the court of Rowan set in motion the machinery 
for administering the new county. A courthouse was authorized, and 
was described as follows: 

. . . the demention [sic'] of the court be 30 feet long and [torn] and a 
story and a half ["half" scratched out] high with two floors framed . . . 
shingles of pine . . . with one good window [torn] of five lights of 8"/10" 
and one do. in each side [torn] ten foot from the end of the Courthouse 
with a door in the end opposite to the bench an oval bar with banisters 
and bench three feet above the floor a table and proper bars for the 
attorneys the said house to be enclosed with proper doors and window 
shutters and a seat for the clerk under the bench. 2 

The court also ordered that a tax of four shillings and one penny half- 
penny proclamation money 3 be levied on each taxable 4 in the county 

* Mr. Ramsey is an Instructor in History at Hollins College, Virginia, and a doc- 
toral candidate at the University of North Carolina. 

1 David Leroy Corbitt, The Formation of the North Carolina Counties, 1663-1943 
(Raleigh: State Department of Archives and History, 1950), 8-9. 

2 Minutes of the Rowan County Court of Common Pleas and Quarter Sessions, 
1753-1767, Parts I and II, State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, 8-9 
hereinafter cited as Rowan Court Minutes. 

8 Proclamation money was "coin valued according to a proclamation of Queen Anne, 
June 18, 1704, by which the various colonial valuations of the Spanish 'pieces of 
eight' . . . were . . . fixed at six shillings." This attempt to unify the silver currency 
in the colonies failed. In March, 1754, every four-shilling proclamation bill was 
valued at three shillings sterling. James Truslow Adams, Dictionary of American 
History (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons [Second edition, revised], 5 volumes and 
index, 1942), IV, 353; William L. Saunders (ed.), The Colonial Records of North 
Carolina (Raleigh: State of North Carolina, 10 volumes, 1886-1890), V, xliv, herein- 
after cited as Saunders, Colonial Records. 

4 By an act of the Assembly of 1749, taxables were described as all white males 
over sixteen, all Negroes and mulattoes over twelve, and all white persons over 



132 The North Carolina Historical Review 

"for the Defraying the Publick Charges of this Province and Also Debts 
Due from this county and Publick buildin[g]s, etc." 5 

In the fall of 1753 the court authorized the purchase of a large 
number of books at county expense. These included William Nelsons 
The Office and Authority of a Justice of the Peace (probably the third 
edition, 1745); John Godolphin's The Orphans Legacy, Or a Testa- 
mentary Abridgment (including sections on wills, executors, and 
legacies); Giles Jacob's New Law Dictionary (1729); and Cary's 
Abridgment of the Statutes. 6 A certain James Carter was appointed 
commissioner to make the purchase. 

The first step in the establishment of a town between the Yadkin 
and Catawba rivers was taken on March 21, 1754, when the court 
made the announcement that "James Carter, Esquire, his lordship's 
deputy-surveyor, produced a warrant for six hundred and forty acres 
of land for the use of the inhabitants of this county &c. and for the 
use of the prison courthouse and stocks & c. of said county by which 
warrant it appears he paid the sum of £1.6.8." 7 On February 11, 
1755, the town of Salisbury was formally created when William Chur- 
ton and Richard Vigers, agents for Lord Granville, made the following 
grant to James Carter and Hugh Forster, 8 trustees: 

. . . Six hundred and thirty-five acres of land for a township ... by the 
name of Salisbury . . . that they might and should grant and convey in 
fee Simple the several lots already taken up and entered . . . reserving 
the annual rent of one shilling for each lot . . . and likewise grant and 
convey . . . such lots ... as are not already entered to such persons as 
shall respectively apply for the same on the payment of twenty shill- 
ings. . . . 9 

A certain James Carter, it will be noted, played a conspicuously 
prominent part in the establishment of the town. Not only was he a 

twelve who intermarried with Negroes. Walter Clark (ed.), The State Records of 
North Carolina (Winston, Goldsboro, and Raleigh: State of North Carolina, 16 vol- 
umes and 4-volume index [compiled by Stephen B. Weeks for both Colonial Records 
and State Records], 1895-1914), XXIII, 345. 

5 Rowan Court Minutes, I, 21. 

6 Rowan Court Minutes I, 23; Leslie Stephen, Sidney Lee, and Others (eds.), The 
Dictionary of National Biography (London: Oxford University Press, 22 volumes 
[including first supplement], reprinted, 1922; and 6 supplements, 1922-1959), VIII, 

41; X, 553; XIV, 215. 

7 Rowan Court Minutes, I, 34. 

8 Forster was a saddler from Cecil County, Maryland. In 1753 he settled on Horse- 
pen Creek of Haw River in Orange County. Jane (Baldwin) Cotton (ed.), The Mary- 
land Calendar of Wills (Baltimore: Kohn and Pollock, Inc., 8 volumes, 1904-1928), 
VII, 211, hereinafter cited as Cotton, Maryland Wills; Rowan County Deed Books, 
Office of Register of Deeds, Rowan County Courthouse, Salisbury, Deed Book III, 114, 
hereinafter cited as Rowan Deed Books. 

9 Land Grant Records of North Carolina, Office of the Secretary of State, Raleigh, 
Land Grant Book VI, 114, hereinafter cited as Land Grant Book with the correct 
number. 



James Carter 133 



deputy surveyor and trustee for the newly created township, but 
also he held the offices of justice of the peace 10 and register of deeds. 11 
On March 8, 1753, Carter bought from James Allison 12 a three hundred- 
fifty acre tract which adjoined the town land on the south and which 
included approximately sixty-seven of the town's two hundred fifty-six 
lots. 13 

Who was this man? From whence had he come? The New Castle 
County, Delaware, trial dockets reveal that a James Carter appeared 
in a case in November, 1736. 14 In March of the following year the 
court of Cecil County, Maryland, recorded the fact that "J am es Carter, 
late of Cecil County, carpenter, was attached to answer unto William 
Hutchinson of a plea of trespass." 15 Two years later Carter appeared 
again in the Cecil County Court where he was referred to as a mill- 
wright. 16 On April 28, 1739, William Williams, a settler in the Appo- 
quinimink Creek district of New Castle County, made the following 
statement when interrogated regarding the boundary controversy be- 
tween Maryland and Pennsylvania: 

. . . about two years ago and since, part of the said land within the fork 
of the main branch of Appoquinak [sic] Creek has been entered on by 
one Mathew Donohoe, James Carter, Augustine Noland and James Poor, 
pretending to be tenants of one Mr. James Paul Heath of Cecil County 
and province of Maryland. . . . 17 



10 Rowan County Trial Dockets (1753-1767), State Department of Archives and His- 
tory, 1. 

"Rowan Court Minutes, I, 11. 

12 Allison, from Cecil County, Maryland, had obtained the land in 1751. Cecil County 
Deed Books, Office of the Register of Deeds, Cecil County Courthouse, Elkton, Mary- 
land, Deed Book VII, 164; Rowan County Will Books, Office of the Clerk of Court, 
Rowan County Courthouse, Salisbury, hereinafter cited as Rowan Wills; Land Grant 
Book XI, 1. 

13 Map of the Town of Salisbury, N. C, drawn by W. Moore, surveyor, August 7, 
1823, North Carolina Room, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. 

u New Castie County, Delaware, Court Judgments, 1703-1750, Hall of Records, 
Dover, Delaware, Folder No. 23 (1734-1736), 56. Although not conclusive, the avail- 
able evidence strongly indicates that Carter originated in Southampton Township, 
Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and that he was born between 1700 and 1710. Abstracts 
of Bucks County Wills, 1685-1795 (handwritten and in bound volumes), 19, Collec- 
tions of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 
Philadelphia; Alfred R. Clark Genealogical Collection, "CA-CLARK" Volume, 29, 
Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Land Grant Book XI, 15; Rowan 
Deed Book I, 57; III, 5, 514; Rowan Court Minutes, I, 15-16, 32-33; Rowan Wills, 
Book A, 43; Bucks County Miscellaneous Papers, 1682-1750 (2 bound volumes), I, 
135, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; A. Van Doren Honeyman (ed.), 
Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey (Somerville, 
New Jersey: The Unionist Gazette Association, Volume XXX of the First Series, 
1918), 47, 189, 327; Cotton, Maryland Wills, III, 126; VII, 9, 174. 

15 Cecil County Judgments, 1723-1730, Hall of Records, Annapolis, Maryland (ac- 
cession No. 9236, S.K. No. 3, 182), hereinafter cited as Cecil County Judgments. 

16 Cecil County Judgments, 1736-1741 (accession No. 9238, S.K. No. 5, 299). 

17 Samuel Hazard (ed.), Pennsylvania Archives. Selected and Arranged from Origi- 
nal Documents in the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Conformably to 
Acts of the General Assembly February 15, 1851 and March 1, 1852 (Philadelphia: 
Joseph Severns and Company, First Series, 12 volumes, 1852-1856), I, 563-564, here- 
inafter cited as Hazard, Pennsylvania Archives. 



134 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The deposition of Thomas Rothwell, living in the same area, was to 
the effect that 

... a certain James Carter, also pretending to be a tenant of the afore- 
said James Heath, entered on the aforesaid tract of land (though often 
required to forbear) and built a house about 200 yards within the line 
and cleared some of the said land, and often left it when said small settle- 
ment was entered on about four months ago by one James Poor. . . , 18 

In the summer of 1740, Carter found himself "a languishing prisoner 
in the Cecil County Gaol." 19 At the instigation of William Rumsey of 
Bohemia Manor, Cecil County, an act was promulgated in the Mary- 
land Assembly for the release of Carter and others. The Act read in 
part: 

. . . Whereas the said . . . [debtors] . . . have set forth that they have 
continued Prisoners for Debt in the custody of the several sheriffs . . . 
and not being able to redeem their Bodies with all the Estate or Interest 
that they have in the world . . . unless relieved by a particular Act passed 
in their Favour . . . they must inevitably continue Prisoners for Life. . . . 20 

Carter was freed the same year. His wealthy friend and benefactor, 
William Rumsey, died in February, 1742, leaving a considerable estate 
and a widow, Sabinah Rumsey. 21 

Hounded by the courts, heavily in debt, and bereft of his patron, 
Carter left Cecil County and headed westward. Within two years he 
had made his way into the Shenandoah Valley; and, in 1744, he ob- 
tained a three hundred-acre tract adjoining John Campbell on the 
Great Calfpasture River in Augusta County. 22 During the next three 
years, Carter built one or more mills in Augusta, 23 and (probably in 
company with Hugh Forster and John Dunn) associated himself with 

35 Hazard, Pennsylvania Archives, I, 564. 

19 W. H. Browne ancj Others (eds.), Archives of Maryland (Baltimore: Maryland 
Historical Society, 65 volumes, 1883-1952), XLII (1740-1744), 146, hereinafter cited 
as Browne, Archives of Maryland. 

20 Browne, Archives of Maryland, XLII, 146. 

21 Cotton, Maryland Wills, VIII, 200. Rumsey was a distinguished surveyor who 
laid out Fredricktown, Maryland, and undoubtedly taught Carter the trade. It is 
believed that Rumsey was the surveyor of the temporary line between Maryland and 
Pennsylvania in 1739. Besides being one of the largest landholders in Cecil County, 
he was collector of customs at the Head of Bohemia. His will was witnessed by James 
Carter and John Dunn. 

22 Plan of 16,500 Acre Tract of Land on the Great or West River of the Calfpas- 
ture, 1744. The Preston and Virginia Papers of the Draper Collection of Manuscripts, 
Duke University Library, Durham. 

23 Lyman Chalkley (ed.), Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlements in Virginia, 
Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County, 1745-1800 (Rosslyn, 
Virginia: The Commonwealth Printing Company, 3 volumes, 1912), I, 21, hereinafter 
referred to as Chalkley, Chronicles of Augusta County. 



James Carter 135 

Morgan Bryan, Squire Boone, and Edward Hughes. 24 It was probably 
in Augusta, too, that Carter's two daughters were married, Mary to 
Jonathan Boone, son of Squire, and Abigail to Robert Gamble. 25 

By 1747 in the manner typical of the merchants and promoters of 
Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware Valley, Carter began to seek addi- 
tional sources of income. It is impossible to conclude other than that 
he and his associates agreed upon the organization and development 
of a settlement and town in the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina. The 
land in Carolina was cheap, fertile, well-watered, and virtually treeless. 
Moreover, the Indians were not troublesome and Lord Granville was 
highly desirous of new settlements in the back country. 26 Carter and 
his friends realized that the Valley of Virginia was rapidly filling and 
that a mass movement southward to Carolina was imminent. 

Accordingly, Carter's group joined the vanguard of the southward 
surge, purchased thousands of acres of the best land in Anson and 
Rowan, 27 contacted Churton and Vigers, and organized the township 
of Salisbury. John Dunn became attorney for the province and the 
first clerk of the court of Rowan County. 28 Carter and Forster were 
appointed trustees for the town land, while Bryan probably supplied 
much of the capital needed for the enterprise. Boone, Hughes, and 
Carter became three of Rowan's first fourteen justices. 29 David Jones, 
a Welshman, originally from Chester County, Pennsylvania, became 
the new county's first sheriff. 30 Between 1750 and 1756 James Carter 

24 Carter, Dunn, and Forster were all in Cecil County at sometime between 1736 and 
1742. Hughes and Boone, both Quakers, removed to the Valley from Philadelphia 
County, Pennsylvania; Bryan was in Chester County, Pennsylvania, in 1724. In 1730, 
in partnership with Alexander Ross, he obtained one hundred thousand acres near 
Opequon Creek in the lower Shenandoah Valley for the purpose of establishing a 
colony of Friends. Hazel A. Spraker, The Boone Family: A Genealogical History of 
the Descendants of George and Mary Boone Who Came to America in 1717, Contain- 
ing Many Bits of Early Kentucky History: Also a Biographical Sketch of Daniel 
Boone, The Pioneer, by One of His Descendants (Rutland, Vermont: The Tuttle 
Company, 1922), 27-32; H. Frank Eshleman, "Assessment Lists and Other Manu- 
script Documents of Lancaster County Prior to 1729," Papers of the Lancaster 
County Historical Society, XX (1916), 181; John W. Wayland, The German Element 
of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia (Charlottesville, Virginia: Wayland Publisher, 
1907), 45; Chalkley, Chronicles of Augusta County, III, 340. 

25 Rowan Deed Book III, 367, 527; Rowan Wills, Book A, 43. 

26 Samuel James Ervin, Jr., A Colonial History of Rowan County, North Carolina 
(Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, Volume 16, No. 1 of The 
James Sprunt Studies in History and Political Science, 1917), 10. 

27 Rowan County deeds and the land grant records in Raleigh reveal that Bryan pur- 
chased 4,088 acres before 1763; Hughes, 3,170 acres; Boone, 1,280 acres; Dunn, 2,062 
acres and a lot in Salisbury; Forster, 1,535 acres; and Carter, 6,674 acres. 

28 Rowan Court Minutes, I, 31; II, 75. 

28 The other justices were Walter Carruth, Andrew Allison, Alexander Osborne, John 
Brandon, John Bravard, Robert Simonton, John Hanby, Alexander Cathey, Thomas 
Potts, John Lynn, Thomas Lovelatty, George Smith, and Joseph Tate. Rowan Court 
Minutes (taken from typed copy housed in the Rowan Public Library, Salisbury), I, 
7-8. 

30 Philadelphia Landholders, 1734 (handwritten and in scrapbook form), Historical 
Society of Philadelphia; Chester County, Pennsylvania, Tavern Petitions (1700-1754, 



136 The North Carolina Historical Review 

became a wealthy man. In the year 1753 he bought nearly four thou- 
sand acres of land, ranging in location from the South Fork of the 
Catawba to the South Fork of Deep River and from the Granville Line 
to Barsheaby Creek adjoining the Moravian Tract. His affluence may 
be traced largely to income derived from his various offices. In addi- 
tion to money received from his activities as innholder, millwright, 
county surveyor, and justice of the peace, Carter (together with 
Forster) conveyed no less than one hundred town lots to fifty-six dif- 
ferent persons between 1755 and 1762. 31 Several of these lots were 
conveyed at different times to different purchasers, indicating fraudu- 
lent sales by the trustees. 32 

That Carter possessed indentured servants and Negro slaves is clear 
from a perusal of the Rowan County records. The court minutes for 
March 20, 1754, reveal that 

. . . James Carter, Esq r produced an Orphan boy named James Fletcher 
and prays that the said orphan may be bound to him until he arrives to 
age, the consideration of this court was that the said James Fletcher 
should be bound to the said James Carter until he arrive at ye age of 21 
years. . . . The said James Carter herby [sic'] oblige himself to pay the 
fees that may become due to my lords office for the clearance of two cer- 
tain tracts and entrys of land in this county left to him [Fletcher] by 
William Bishop deceased and also to pay the quit rents hereafter may 
grow due until ye servant come to the age aforesaid and also to teach 
or instruct him the said servant to read English and to write a legible 
hand. 33 

Carter's ownership of slaves is indicated by his sale in July, 1756, of 
a Negro man and woman to his son-in-law, Jonathan Boone. 34 

By February 27, 1754, Carter was a member of the North Carolina 
Assembly from Rowan County; and ( probably with the outbreak of the 
French and Indian War) was commissioned major in the colonial 
militia. 35 Carter's three years of service in the Assembly were active 
ones. Eight days after becoming a member he was appointed to a com- 
mittee to prepare a bill for "granting an Aid to his Majesty for defence 
of the Frontier. . . ." 36 The following month Carter introduced a 
bill, which passed the Assembly, for inspecting indigo, rice, pork, beef, 

Volumes I-X), II (1729-1736), 55, 56, Chester County Historical Society, West Chester; 
Rowan Wills, Book A, 33. Jones also seems to have moved before 1734 from Chester 
to Philadelphia County, where he joined the Boones. 
31 Rowan Deed Books III, IV, V, VI, and VII, passim. 

82 Rowan Deed Book II, 363-365; III, 533. 

83 Rowan Court Minutes, I, 33. 

34 Rowan Court Minutes, II, 126. 
^Saunders, Colonial Records, V, 182, 810. 
38 Saunders, Colonial Records, V, 246. 



James Carter 137 

pitch, and tar. 37 In October, 1755, he joined Cornelius Harnett in 
bringing up a bill for directing the method of selecting vestries on 
those parishes lacking legal vestries. 38 

The great war with France had a profound effect upon the frontier 
settlements in Carolina, and James Carter's career was radically altered 
as a consequence. Indian raids and the need for militiamen caused 
many settlers to flee their homes or go into hiding. The payment of taxes 
and fees became more sporadic and uncertain. Due in part to question- 
able financial transactions, and in part to reduced income, Carter be- 
came involved in ruinous litigation. 

In May, 1757, John McGuire of Rowan County recovered £30.11.5 
proclamation money against James Carter in a court held at Salisbury 
for the counties of Orange, Rowan, and Anson before James Hassell, 
Chief Justice. In order to raise the money, Sheriff David Jones sold 
Carter's tract on Second Creek to Hugh Montgomery. 39 In the same 
month it was announced in the Assembly at New Bern that 

. . . Mr. James I. Carter one of the members thereof for Rowan County 
having been Intrusted [sic] together with one Mr. John Brandon with the 
Sum of Five Hundred Pounds Proclamation Money to be by them applyed 
[sic] in Purchasing arms and ammunition for the Defence of the Frontier 
County of Rowan and have neglected to Apply the said Money for the 
Purposes aforesaid and also have hitherto neglected to Account for the 
same and further moved That the said James Carter may be called by 
this House to answer for such his neglect. 40 

Carter was apparently unable to account satisfactorily for his misuse 
of public funds for he was relieved of his position as a justice of the 
peace for Rowan and forced to resign his major's commission in the 
county militia. 41 In November, 1757, he was expelled from the As- 
sembly. 42 

In June, 1757, one Conrad Michael, a twenty-eight year old tanner 
from the Rhenish Palatinate, 43 acquired at auction Carter's three 
hundred fifty-acre tract adjoining the town land in a transaction which 
furnishes further insight into the difficulties of the redoubtable Carter. 
At a court held at Enfield, North Carolina, "Sabinah Rigby, executrix, 

37 Saunders, Colonial Records, V, 266. 

38 Saunders, Colonial Records, V, 504. 

39 Rowan Deed Book II, 390. 

40 Saunders, Colonial Records, V, 846. 

41 Saunders, Colonial Records, V, 810. 

42 Saunders, Colonial Records, V, 892. 

43 Ralph Beaver Strassburger and W. J. Hinke (eds.), Pennsylvania German Pio- 
neers, A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 
from 1727 to 1808 (Norristown: Pennsylvania German Society, 3 volumes, 1934), I, 
609-612; Rowan Deed Book VI, 170. 



138 The North Carolina Historical Review 

did recover against James Carter, late of Rowan County, gentleman, 
otherwise called James Carter of Cecil County, millwright," £200 
currency of Maryland (valued at £150 sterling), a debt to be dis- 
charged upon Carter's payment of £100 (valued at £75 sterling) with 
interest, dating from 1738. 44 Sabinah Rigby was the widow of William 
Rumsey, 45 and it is probable that the money owed by Carter was 
originally loaned him by Rumsey. 

In 1756 at the time his financial difficulties began, Carter transferred 
to his daughter Mary Boone "all and singular my goods and chattels 
now belonging to my present Dwelling House . . . known by the Name 
of Bristol Hall/ M6 

By the spring of 1761 Carter had been forced to sell or surrender at 
auction nearly all the land obtained by him during the previous ten 
years. The only tract left to him was one on Potts Creek, where he 
received a permit to build a public mill, 47 and where he probably spent 
his last days. 

The founder of Salisbury was not always well liked by his fellows. 
A multiple officeholder of Carter's stature was rarely popular on the 
frontier, and his necessary duties as justice of the peace did not serve 
to increase his popularity. In October, 1756, a certain 

. . . Andrew Cranston of Rowan County Chirurgeon . . . with force of 
arms to wit Swords Clubs etc in and ag* James Carter Esq r . . . in the 
execution of his [Carter's] office as his Majesties Justice of the Peace . . . 
comitted [sic] an assault did make and him the s d James Carter then & 
there did beat bruise wound & evily [sic] Intreat [sic] soe [sic] that of 
his life he was much dispaired and other Enormities in and ag* the s d 
James he offered. . . , 48 

As surveyor, too, Carter's actions were not always of a kind calculated 
to earn the good will of the frontiersmen. In December, 1758, it was 
resolved in the Assembly that 

. . . James Carter a Surveyor in the Earl's Office [Granville], under Pre- 
tence of receiving Entries and making Surveys, has at different times, 
exacted and extorted considerable sums of Money from several Persons, 



"Rowan Deed Book II, 244. 

45 Cotton, Maryland Wills, VIII, 200; Maryland Testamentary Proceedings, 1657- 
1777, Hall of Records, Annapolis, Maryland, XXXIV, 120. 

46 Rowan Deed Book III, 367. It is of interest to note that Bristol, located ten miles 
southeast of Southampton Township, was the county seat of Bucks County from 1705 
to 1725. 

47 Rowan Court Minutes, 110. Potts Creek flows into the Yadkin immediately south 
of old Jersey Church in what is now Davidson County. 

48 Rowan County Civil and Criminal Cases, 1753-1756, State Department of Archives 
and History. 



James Carter 139 

without returning the same into the Office ; by which they have been pre- 
vented getting their Deeds. 49 

James Carter's last years cannot have been happy ones. Broken by 
financial disaster and bereft of his vast landholdings, the aging pro- 
moter sank rapidly after 1761. 50 His role in the early history of North 
Carolina had been played. A new generation of leaders was already 
springing up about him; men such as Maxwell Chambers, Francis and 
Matthew Lock (Locke), John Steele, David Caldwell, Richmond 
Pearson, and William Lee Davidson. But their contribution to North 
Carolina and American history would have been impossible without 
the accomplishments of their able, calculating predecessor. Though 
all but forgotten, James Carter must surely be numbered among those 
pioneers who provided the best, as well as the worst, in the character 
of Frederick Jackson Turner's American frontier. 

49 Saunders, Colonial Records, V, 1,092. 

ro Carter died in 1765. Rowan Wills, Book A, 43. 



SAGA OF A BURKE COUNTY FAMILY 

By Edward W. Phifer* 

PART II 

The Parents 

Isaac Thomas Avery was born at "Swan Ponds" September 22, 1785, 
four years after his father had moved to Burke County. During his 
childhood, his father's estate prospered with the acquisition of more 
slaves as well as additional farm land adjoining "Swan Ponds" and 
large tracts suitable for grazing in the mountainous country to the west. 
In 1801, when his father was incapacitated, it became imperative that 
Isaac accompany him on many journeys necessary for the continued 
practice of law. Administrative duties associated with the operation of 
a large plantation 57 fell early upon his powerful young shoulders. 58 
Unlike his father, he had little opportunity for formal education. He 
attended Washington College near Jonesboro in Washington County, 
a school founded and operated by a strait-laced, stubborn, and hide- 
bound old Presbyterian minister named Samuel Doak who had attended 
Princeton University, studied at Hampden- Sydney College, sup- 
ported the American Revolution, and favored the formation of the 
State of Franklin. From him Isaac acquired an adequate education in 
the classics and such knowledge of the sciences as was absolutely 
compatible with the Book of Genesis. Young Avery showed an early 
interest in politics and represented Burke County in the legislature for 
the first time in 1809, when he was only twenty-four years old. He re- 



* Dr. Phifer is a local historian and medical practitioner in Morganton. 

57 In addition to "Swan Ponds" plantation, Isaac Avery inherited or acquired 50,000 
acres of fine grazing land in what is now Mitchell and Avery counties. He bred and 
raised more horses and cattle than any other person in that section of North Caro- 
lina. By 1850 his slaveholdings in Burke County alone had increased to one hundred 
and forty- two. Manuscript on Avery family, George P. Erwin Papers, in possession 
of Adelaide Erwin White, Morganton, hereinafter cited as George Phifer Erwin 
Papers; Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Census of Burke County (North 
Carolina), Schedule II, Slave Inhabitants, hereinafter cited as Census of 1850. 

58 Mary J. Avery, "The Place that Lured Waightstill," Charlotte Observer, Septem- 
ber 30, 1928, hereinafter cited as Avery, "The Place that Lured Waightstill." 



Saga of a Burke County Family 141 

turned to the lower house in 1810 and 1811. 59 His election at this youth- 
ful age indicates the paucity of eligible candidates for public office in 
a western county at this stage of the State's development. Nevertheless, 
it also indicates that he was unusually able for a man of his years. 
After 1811, he never again sought elective office, but continued to be 
a formidable figure in western North Carolina politics until the end 
of his days. Aligning himself with the Democratic-Republican party 
during its formative years, he soon became an ardent advocate of the 
principles of the great southern Democrat, 60 John C. Calhoun. Later 
in life, he was three times appointed a member of the Governor's 
Council, a body that advised the Chief Executive on political appoint- 
ments. In 1824 he was a presidential elector from North Carolina at 
which time he initially supported his favorite, Calhoun, who cham- 
pioned internal improvements. When Calhoun's star faded, he reluc- 
tantly supported Andrew Jackson over William H. Crawford who was 
strongly against internal improvements. In 1828 he was a presidental 
elector for John Quincy Adams. 61 

In 1815 he married Harriet Eloise Erwin, oldest daughter of William 
Willoughby Erwin and Matilda Sharpe Erwin. W. W. Erwin was an 
elder in the Presbyterian Church and a member of a prominent Burke 
County family of Scotch-Irish extraction. Mrs. Erwin was the 
daughter of William Sharpe, 62 the Salisbury lawyer who had been on 
the Holston River Treaty Commission with Waightstill Avery. W. W. 
Erwin had sixteen children who reached adult life and they married 
into many prominent North Carolina families. 63 Harriet Erwin was a 
kind and courageous woman who obtained an education by riding to 
Raleigh on horseback and there attended the school established by Dr. 
William McPheeters. 64 She was a militant practicing Christian— a 
lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church and earnestly supported 

59 Wheeler, Historical Sketches, 62. 

°°Josephus Daniels, newspaper clipping of an address dated April 11, 1933, memori- 
alizing Judge A. C. Avery, North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina 
Library. 

61 North Carolina Free Press (Tarboro), November 7, 1829, December 5, 1828, here- 
inafter cited as Free Press; Samuel A. Ashe, Biographical History of North Carolina, 
From Colonial Times to the Present (Greensboro: Charles L. Van Noppen, 8 volumes, 
1905-1917), VII, 6-8, is the only source found which indicates Avery was a Jackson 
elector in 1824. He was never a Jackson supporter thereafter. 

82 William Sharpe held many public offices in North Carolina and served two terms 
in the Continental Congress from this State. It was he who first introduced a bill in 
the legislature of 1784 for the implementation of Article Forty-one of the North 
Carolina Constitution to establish a State university. The bill failed to pass at this 
session. Sharpe's wife was a daughter of David Reese, an alleged signer of the Meck- 
lenburg Declaration. 

63 This family was commonly referred to in Burke County as the "Belvidere Erwins." 

64 A. C Avery, History of the Presbyterian Churches at Quaker Meadows and Mor- 
ganton from the Year 1780 to 1913 (Raleigh, 1913), 76, hereinafter cited as Avery, 
History of the Presbyterian Churches. 



142 The North Carolina Historical Review 

its every function. Her children, and the plantation Negroes as well, 
received indoctrination in the Christian faith and regular instruction 
in the teachings of the Bible largely through her efforts. Like many 
women of her period in this locality, she lived a life of continuous sub- 
mission to the wants, desires, and necessities of others— her husband, 
her children, her guests, and the Negro slaves. It was her lot to walk 
through life in quiet dignity, oblivious of the sorrows that wrenched 
her heart and tolerant of the faults and frailties of those around her. 
Harriet Avery gave birth to sixteen children, but six of these died in 
infancy or childhood. 

Only four of the sixteen children were daughters. Leah Adelaide was 
born December 20, 1822, was never married and died January 20, 
1896. Mary Ann Martha was born May 20, 1831, and died January 22, 
1890. On June 26, 1855, she was married to Joseph F. Chambers of 
Iredell County. Chambers was a merchant in Salisbury for many years 
and also owned and operated a farm near Statesville. He died while 
living in Morganton, August 20, 1877. Harriet Justina, the third 
daughter, was born September 2, 1833. She married Major Pinkney B. 
Chambers on August 11, 1853. He was a farmer and teacher; his home 
and farm were near Statesville. Laura Mira, the youngest daughter, 
was born November 15, 1837; she did not marry and died August 22, 
1912. 

In 1829 Isaac Avery was appointed head of the Morganton branch 
of The North Carolina State Bank. 65 He continued in this capacity for 
thirty years. These were the times when the gold mines at Brindletown 
in southern Burke County were producing profitably; Avery was ex- 
tremely optimistic regarding the future of this industry in western 
North Carolina. "The country [i.e. western North Carolina], I may 
say, is unexplored by the eye of science," he wrote Samuel P. Carson. 66 
The year 1830 was a boom year; as the precious metal was recovered, 
it was rushed to the bank at Morganton where it was cached until a 
quantity sufficient for coinage had accumulated and then it was con- 
signed to the mint which in turn converted the gold dust into specie. 
Avery also took an active interest in the State internal improvement 
program as envisaged by Archibald D. Murphey after 1818. This 
program was intended to improve the State's economic status through 
construction of roads and canals and the improvement of existing 
navigable waterways. Avery was a member of the State Board of 



65 Free Press, May 15, 1829; Isaac T. Avery was designated agent for the bank 
until it became a branch bank, then he became cashier. 

66 Twenty-second Congress, First Session, Report No. 89, 23, a letter from Isaac T. 
Avery to S. P. Carson. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 



143 




Isaac Thomas Avery 
This picture of Avery was reproduced from an engraving in Samuel A. 
Ashe and Stephen B. Weeks (eds.), Biographical History of North Carolina. 

Internal Improvements for the years 1821-1822 and was for many 
years president of the Catawba Navigation Company which attempted 
to render this river navigable from its upper reaches to the South Caro- 
lina line. The project was unsuccessful, apparently, because of inade- 
quate capitalization, incompetent technical assistance, and the eventual 
development of the steam locomotive as a more efficient mode of trans- 
portation. 67 When the Morganton Agriculture Society was formed in 
1821, Avery was elected one of its officers; he attempted to familiarize 
himself with the newer concepts of farming and delivered public 
addresses in an effort to disseminate information on better methods of 
farming throughout the county. 68 In 1831 he was appointed on a 
commission to plan and supervise the construction of a permanent 
courthouse in Burke County and he served on this commission until 
the work was completed. 69 

07 Isaac T. Avery to Archibald D. Murphey, December 1, 1820, Hoyt, Murphey 
Papers, I, 178. 

68 Western Carolinian, October 2, 1821. 

w Legislative Papers, 1830-1831, State Department of Archives and History; Public 
Laws of North Carolina, 1830-1831, C. XC. 



144 The North Carolina Historical Review 

He was a towering, big-boned, loose-jointed man with large craggy 
features and ''hair parted on each side and brushed up high in the 
middle of his head/' 70 His voice was deep and his language formal. 
He was regarded as a man of culture and learning, and it was said of 
him that "there was scarcely any subject on which he was not well- 
informed." Forced into a life requiring largely executive and adminis- 
trative talents, he was primarily a classical scholar, as was his father 
before him. He collected copies of the works of all the principal Latin 
writers as well as the works of Shakespeare and even "in his old age 
he is reported to have read Latin with the greatest facility." 71 

As Isaac Avery's family grew, the old brick house which his father 
had built became inadequate and a new and larger house was erected 
in 1848 72 in order to "meet the demand of hospitality." 73 Between the 
old and new house was an uncovered bridge about six to ten feet long 
connecting the two buildings. The kitchen was 150 feet from the house 
with laundry, storeroom, sewing room and "weave" room adjoining. 
The furnishings of the house were simple— there were few pictures on 
the walls. The yard was covered with unkempt grass and planted with 
trees common to the area: chinaberry, cedar, white pine, and locust. 
A circle, thirty feet in diameter, of tall cedars was in front of the old 
house. On the south side was a large flower garden that "like every- 
thing else about the place,— suggested the idea of being kept up solely 
for the flowers it grew." 74 

All guests were welcome at "Swan Ponds,' particularly "those who 
brought from the outside world a new thought or were able to report 
a new phase or a change of trend in the political world" 75 — the large 
table in the hall was always covered with the better American news- 
papers and frequently with some English newspapers. The arts and 
sciences may have had their moments at "Swan Ponds" 76 but politics 
was the order of the day and the ladies, as well as the men, were en- 
couraged to take part in the discussions. More often than not, though, 

70 J. Lenoir Chambers, The Breed and the Pasture (Charlotte: Presses Observer 
Printing, Inc., 1910), 75-84, hereinafter cited as Chambers, The Breed and the Pas- 
ture. 

71 Owen M. Peterson, "W. W. Avery in the Democratic National Convention of I860," 
The North Carolina Historical Review, XXXI (October, 1954), 466, hereinafter cited 
as Peterson, "W. W. Avery." 

72 Thomas Lenoir Diary, October 4, 1848, Lenoir Family Papers, University of 
North Carolina Library, hereinafter cited as Thomas Lenoir Diary. 

73 Chambers, The Breed and the Pasture, 79. 

74 Chambers, The Breed and the Pasture, 81. 

75 Chambers, The Breed and the Pasture, 79. 

76 Andre Michaux, the famous French botanist, was a guest at "Swan Ponds" 
May 2, 1795, and March 31, 1796, during his visit to this country to study the fauna 
and flora, Thwaite, Early Western Travels, III, 55, 100. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 145 

the conversation was in a lighter vein and lightheartedness and 
laughter were pervasive, as indicated in this entry by Thomas Lenoir: 

Got to I. T. Averts about 2 and shortly after sat down to dinner with 
Harriett and Betsy Oneal (Mira McDowell daughter of Charles had just 
come) . C. M. Avery, William Walton and his sister Elizabeth came about 
4 o'clock, and I. T. Avery William W. Avery and William Mills att. came 
after darke and we all supped together shortly after. I. T. Harriett and 
myself had much talk in her room, the young folks in the Hall. Went to 
bed about 1 o'clock. 77 

One had only to look at their economic predicament, however, to 
understand why politics was uppermost in their minds. Aside from a 
burst of gold mining, farming was the sole major industry of the 
county, and the character of the terrain mitigated against farming on 
a large scale. With slave labor, farming methods were crude even for 
that day and under this system only the river "bottoms" could be 
farmed profitably. Since the number of slaves constantly increased, 
the acquisition of more bottom land was necessary in order that the 
slaves might be utilized. This forced the small non-slave-owning 
farmer to farm the upland where his enmity for the planter increased 
and his rations often became shorter. Furthermore these "bottoms" 
were particularly vulnerable to inundation since the waters of the 
Catawba were totally unbridled; and great floods, such as the freshets 
of 1836 and 1844, 78 periodically caused crop loss and extensive prop- 
erty damage. Corn and small grain were the only crops grown exten- 
sively and the major part of this produce was needed at "Swan Ponds" 
to feed Negroes and livestock. 79 Cattle were raised on the fine grazing 
lands which Isaac Avery owned in the mountainous tracts to the west. 
Says J. Lenoir Chambers: "In the summer months, as I remember, 
they killed a beef every day and never sold a pound. Even the hide 
was tanned on the place and made into shoes by hand. The only source 

"Thomas Lenoir Diary, January 31, 1840. - 

78 Thomas Lenoir Diary, August 21, 1836; A. C. Avery ' y History of the Presbyterian 
Churches, 18. 

79 In 1850 in Burke County he owned 850 acres of improved land and 3,385 acres 
of unimproved land. His farm was valued at $20,000 and his farm implements at $750. 
He owned 10 horses, 16 mules, 12 milk cows, 100 sheep, and 300 swine. In 1850 his 
farm produced 9,000 bushels of corn, 1,000 bushels of oats, 850 bushels of wheat, and 
200 bushels of rye. Cattle were not listed for 1850 but in 1860 he owned 180 cattle, 
160 sheep, 250 swine, and 30 milk cows. The livestock was valued at $7,000. His farm 
produced in 1860 4,500 bushels of corn, 1,000 bushels of wheat, 500 bushels of rye, 
100 bushels of oats, 2,500 lbs. of tobacco, 450 bushels of peas and beans, 60 tons of 
hay, 50 bushels of Irish potatoes, 50 bushels of sweet potatoes, 300 pounds of butter, 
200 pounds of honey, and 10 pounds of wax. Census of 1850 and Census of 1860: 
Schedule IV, Agriculture. His real estate in 1860 was valued at $45,500 and personal 
property valued at $73,450. Census of 1860: Schedule I, Free Inhabitants. 



146 The North Carolina Historical Review 

of wealth was the increase in the number or value of the slaves, and 
this was not available except by sale. None were ever sold." 80 Their 
economic plight was further worsened by the absence of any mode 
of transportation. The Catawba River was the largest available stream 
and it was inadequate for travel and commercial transport. Overland 
transportation was little, if any, better. As late as 1816, the nearest 
stagecoach lines from the east terminated at Salisbury, eighty miles 
away. Moreover, the roads were so rudimentary that it required three 
days to travel this eighty miles on horseback or in a gig. 81 Although 
the first steam locomotive appeared in this country in 1830, the North 
Carolina Railroad from Raleigh did not reach Salisbury and Charlotte 
until 1856. The Western North Carolina Railroad from Salisbury had 
not reached Morganton at the time of the Civil War. With no staple 
crops and no system for transportation of produce to market, it became 
imperative that every necessary item be homegrown or home-manu- 
factured. 82 All of this added up to unprofitable operations for the 
planters and "Swan Ponds" was no exception. The Piedmont and 
Mountain west were the poorest and most backward sections of the 
State. Many planters moved to the cotton lands of the far South. 83 
Others, like Isaac Avery, stayed on because of sentimental attach- 
ments, the high price of the cotton lands, and the impracticability of 
disposing of large landholdings and moving such large numbers of 
slaves. To top it off, there soon came out of the cold North the high- 
pitched shriek of the Radical Abolitionist not only condemning slavery 
as an institution, but slaveholders as a class. 

For Isaac Avery, planter and son of a planter, this was more than 
he could tolerate and his reaction was relentless and unremitting. Like 
many others he grasped the doctrine of State Rights— the right of a 
sovereign State to secede— and it was his until the end. With Calvinistic 
fervor, risking and sacrificing all for an ideal, he followed Calhoun and 
his tenets down the bloody road to war. After living to see his world 



80 Chambers, The Breed and the Pasture, 83. This statement does not entirely con- 
form with Thomas Lenoir Diary, November 30, 1844, which says: "W. Waightstill 
gone to Raleigh and Lenoir to Charleston with cattle. . . ." 

81 Mary J. Avery, newspaper clipping in the North Carolina Room, The University 
of North Carolina Library, citing letter of April 20, 1816, Waightstill Avery to his 
nephew, James Avery, in Philadelphia. Typewritten copy of letter also in possession 
of writer. 

K Lefler and Newsome, North Carolina, 299-311, 246-248. 

88 Waightstill Avery to James Avery, January 23, 1816, Waightstill Avery Papers, 
Southern Historical Collection. In this letter he states: "Many of the Inhabitants of 
this part of the Country are looking to the Westward. A number of Wealthy people 
from North and South Carolina and Georgia have removed into the Mississippi Ter- 
ritory. . . . Several to Madison County in the Bent of the Tennessee; from thence, 
their cotton and tobacco can be conveyed by water to New Orleans by the Steam 
Boats and the Freight will not be high. . . ." 



Saga of a Burke County Family 147 

collapse about him, he died on the last day of the year— 1864. He was 
in his eightieth year. They buried him in the family burial ground at 
"Swan Ponds." 

[To be concluded] 



ASPECTS OF THE NORTH CAROLINA 
SLAVE CODE, 1715-1860 

By Ernest James Clark, Jr.* 

The North Carolina slave code was not a product of legal theory or 
abstract thought, but developed gradually in response to definite needs. 
It was expanded or revised as necessity demanded. The slave code 
had two basic purposes. First, the code was intended to be a police 
system for controlling the Negro population. Early in the colonial 
period a second purpose developed, that of establishing and maintain- 
ing a unique social standard in the community. Slavery became as much 
a means of assuring white supremacy as a method of police control 
of labor, and the resistance of the South to emancipation which 
culminated in civil war arose in large measure from southern aversion 
to accepting Negroes as social equals. The South always feared that 
emancipation would lead to social intercourse of the races on the 
basis of equality. The colonists from the first regarded the Negro as 
an inferior being, and the slave code by marking off the status of the 
Negro did much to further and develop the idea of Negro inferiority. 

In the course of the ante-bellum period a third purpose of the slave 
code was evolved. The slave code was increasingly liberalized with the 
purpose of extending to slaves many basic civil privileges and a large 
degree of personal security. This development took place mainly in 
the years between 1780 and 1820. No doubt this liberalization of the 
code originated in the natural desire of slaveowners to protect their 
property, but by the first decade of the nineteenth century the results 
had gone far beyond the original desire. The extension of privileges, 
or "rights," to Negroes was definitely a secondary and incidental result 
of the code, and it should be noted that the slaves received many civil 
privileges by court interpretation rather than by positive legislation. 
In the years after 1800 the State's highest Court became almost a 
champion of the rights of slaves to procedural privileges in court and 
to personal security. 

* Mr. Clark is Assistant Professor of History at Murray State College, Murray, 
Kentucky. 



Aspects of the Slave Code, 1715-1860 149 

The purpose of the following pages is to demonstrate that the trend 
in ante-bellum North Carolina was to extend to slaves virtually the 
same procedural privileges enjoyed by white citizens in court. It will 
also be revealed that Negro slaves in ante-bellum North Carolina 
received an increasing measure of personal security from both the slave 
code and the State courts. The primary purpose of the code was to 
preserve white supremacy, and only when the community was assured 
that this goal was achieved were privileges extended to the Negroes. 
But once the slaves were granted procedural rights in North Carolina, 
those rights were not curtailed even in the bitter decade of 1850-1860. 
It should be noted that during the ante-bellum period the federal 
Supreme Court played no part in the interpretation of the code, and 
the State Supreme Court was the court of last resort in cases arising 
under the code. 

Slavery took root in North Carolina because it provided an adequate 
labor force for the cultivation of the great colonial staple, tobacco. In 
the middle decades of the seventeenth century settlers from Virginia 
established the institution of Negro slavery in the Albemarle Sound 
region of North Carolina. The number of slaves in the Carolina 
province increased slowly, and in 1712 they numbered only 800. 1 In 
the course of the eighteenth century the colony expanded rapidly and 
the slave population greatly increased. By 1764 North Carolina con- 
tained approximately 114,000 white residents and 30,000 Negro slaves. 2 

The earliest slave laws of North Carolina were drawn from the code 
of Virginia, where Negro servitude had existed since 1619. In 1712 
North Carolina compiled its first complete slave code. Most of the 
statutes applied equally to Negro slaves and indentured white servants. 
At first Negro laborers stood before the law in almost the same posi- 
tion as indentured servants. The freeing of Negroes at the end of a 
term of service, required under the laws of indenture, posed a social 
and economic problem which was overcome by the expedient of hold- 
ing Negro servants for life service. From this position the transition to 
a system of full chattel slavery was not difficult. By the beginning of 
the eighteenth century it was an unwritten principle of law in North 
Carolina that the child of Negro parents was born in bondage. 

Throughout the ante-bellum period all persons of "black complexion" 
were presumed to be slaves, and any person of color who disclaimed 

1 John Spencer Bassett, Slavery and Servitude in the Colony of North Carolina 
(Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins Press, 14th Series, No. IV-V, of The 
Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, H. B. Adams 
[ed.], 1896), 21, hereinafter cited as Bassett, Slavery and Servitude. 

2 Bassett, Slavery and Servitude, 21. 



150 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the status was required to prove his freedom in court. 3 During the 
colonial period slave offenders of the law were tried by special courts 
variously called "slave courts" or "negro courts." The code of 1715 
provided "that where any Slave shall be guilty of any Crime or Offence 
whatsoever the same shall be heard & determined by any three Justices 
of the Precinct Court . . ." and three freeholders, or a majority of them, 
residents of the county wherein the offense was committed. 4 The 
justices were authorized to hold the court at any time and place they 
chose. Often sessions of the slave court were held in the home of some 
locally known planter. As a protection to the slave the statute required 
that the freeholders be eligible to serve on the court only if they were 
slaveowners. This provision might also have been intended to prevent 
emancipationists, such as Quakers, from participating in the trials. 5 
The court had full power "to pass Judgment for life or Member or any 
other Corporal Punishment on such Offender & cause Execution of the 
same Judgment to be made & done." 6 

Contemporaries could not have regarded the summary jurisdiction 
of the slave courts as exceedingly harsh. The colony was sparsely 
populated and the judicial machinery of the day seldom functioned 
smoothly. Offenders, slave or free, had to be tried and punished 
quickly because there were no facilities for holding prisoners for trial. 
Colonial jails were few in number and poorly kept. As late as 1766 
inability to hold prisoners was given as the reason for issuing commis- 
sions of Oyer and Terminer for the trial of offenders. 7 

A revision of the North Carolina slave code occurred in 1741, in- 
spired largely by the bloody Stono Revolt near Charleston, South 
Carolina, in 1739. 8 The mode of trial for slave offenders was altered. 
The act of 1741 provided that any slave offender be committed to the 
county jail and held for trial. The sheriff was then to summon two 
justices of the peace and four freeholders who possessed slaves. These 
six men composed the slave court and met at the county courthouse to 



z The State v. Thomas J. Miller, 29 N. C. 275 (1847). 

* Walter Clark, The State Records of North Carolina (Winston, Goldsboro, and 
Raleigh : State of North Carolina, 16 volumes and 4-volume index [compiled by 
Stephen B. Weeks for both the Colonial Records and the State Records], 1895-1914), 
XXIII, 64, hereinafter cited as Clark, State Records. 

5 For the conflict between the Quakers and slavery, see Stephen B. Weeks, Southern 
Quakers and Slavery: A Study in Institutional History (Baltimore, Maryland: The 
Johns Hopkins Press, 1896), Chapter XIV, hereinafter cited as Weeks, Southern 
Quakers and Slavery. 

6 Clark, State Records, XXIII, 64. 

7 Clark, State Records, XXIII, 701. 

8 Ulrich Bonnell Phillips, American Negro Slavery: A Survey of the Supply, Em- 
ployment and Control of Negro Labor as Determined by the Plantation Regime 

( Gloucester, Mass. : Peter Smith [Reprint of D. Appleton and Company, New York 
and London, 1918], 1959), 473. 



Aspects of the Slave Code, 1715-1860 151 

hear the case. The court had jurisdiction over all offenses and could 
"pass such Judgment upon such Offender, according to their Discre- 
tion, as the Nature of the Crime or Offense shall require; and on such 
Judgment . . . award Execution." 9 This broad grant of power not 
only made the slave court the court of trial, but in large measure 
allowed the court to legislate in each case, determining at its discretion 
what punishment was proper for the offense committed. The law of 
1741 remained in force throughout the colonial period. 

During the period 1790-1830 a number of statutes were enacted by 
the State legislature which radically altered the mode of trial for slave 
offenders. These statutes extended to slaves most of the procedural 
rights of white men, and included trial by jury, challenge of jurors, 
counsel, and appeal to the Supreme Court of the State. 10 The right to 
trial by jury was granted to slaves by an act of the legislature in 1793. 
The act provided for a jury of twelve slaveowners to hear every case 
involving a crime "the punishment whereof shall extend to life, limb, 
or member. . . ." n Jury trial was never extended to slaves charged with 
trivial offenses and tried before a single justice of the peace. But the 
slave was entitled to trial by jury when tried on serious charges in 
Superior Court. 

The right to challenge jurors is necessary to give meaning to the 
right of trial by jury. Slaves were first given the right to challenge 
jurors in 1816. The slave had to show cause for challenge and the 
challenge could only be made "by and with the advice and assistance 
of his owner or ... of his counsel." 12 An act of 1818 provided that "all 
slaves on trial for capital offences shall by themselves, masters or 
counsel, have the same right to challenge Jurors, that a free man is 
now entitled to by law. . . ." 13 It should be noted that the law allowed 
any Negro slave to challenge up to twenty-three jurors in capital trials 
without showing cause. This was the same number of peremptory 
challenges allowed to white men. 14 

The law required that when a slave was apprehended for any 
offense, the punishment for which would affect life or limb, the master 
had to be notified at least ten days in advance of the trial. 15 This was 

9 Clark, State Records, XXIII, 202. 

10 Frederick Nash, James Iredell, and William H. Battle (revisers), Revised Statutes 
of North Carolina, 1836-1837 (Raleigh: Turner and Hughes, 2 volumes, 1837), I, c. 
CXI, ss. 44, 45, 46, 48, 49, hereinafter cited as Revised Statutes of 1837. 

11 Laws of North Carolina, 1793, c. V, s. 1. 

12 Laws of North Carolina, 1816, c. XIV, s. 3. 
* Laws of North Carolina, 1818, c. XIV. 

14 Bartholomew F. Moore and Asa Biggs (revisers), Revised Code of North Caro- 
lina, 1854. (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1855), c. 35, s. 32, hereinafter cited 
Revised Code of 1854.. 

™Laws of North Carolina, 1793, c. V, s. 2. 



152 The North Carolina Historical Review 

to allow the master an opportunity to make a defense for the slave. 
If the master was unknown the court was authorized to appoint counsel 
for the Negro defendant. 16 The master was liable for the cost of the 
appointed counsel as part of the costs of the trial. 

The master was in all cases liable for the costs of defending his slave 
in court. The State Supreme Court declared in 1838 that the relation 
of master and slave imposed upon the master "the obligation of the 
slave's defense, and the law generally charges him with it as a duty 
alike to the slave and to the fair administration of public justice." 17 
The courts were authorized to collect the costs by proper action 
against the master, or from his estate if he died without paying the 
costs. 

The right to remove a case to an adjoining county for trial was 
extended to slaves. Such cases were removed upon the affidavit of 
the master or of the slave's counsel that such a removal was necessary. 
If the presiding judge was convinced that the slave could not receive a 
fair trial, the judge ordered the trial removed to a neighboring county. 
This was the same procedure followed in removing trials of white 
defendants. A slave's trial could be removed by the Negro's counsel 
even if the master refused to make an affidavit for the purpose. 18 

The rules of evidence for slaves in court differed from the rules of 
evidence for white men. "All negroes, Indians, mulattoes, and all 
persons of mixed blood . . ." within the fourth degree were competent 
witnesses against one another, but none could testify against any white 
person. 19 This law was rigidly upheld in court. In most cases this was 
doubtless justifiable, but often strict enforcement resulted in injustice 
to colored persons. This was particularly true in cases brought by free 
Negro women against white men for the support of bastard children. 
The State Supreme Court repeatedly expressed the opinion that proof 
of Negro blood within the fourth degree barred such women from 
testifying against white men. Thus white men escaped responsibility 
for their illicit children. 20 It is interesting to note that a free Negro, 
convicted of being the father of a bastard child by a white woman, was 
held liable for the support of the child. Free Negroes could hold prop- 
erty, sue and be sued, and testimony of white witnesses was acceptable 

18 Laws of North Carolina, 1793, c. V, s. 3. 

17 The State v. James Leigh, 20 N. C. 126 (1838). 

18 Revised Statutes of 1837, I, c. CXI, s. 44; Laws of North Carolina, 1816, c. XIV, 
s. 2. 

19 Revised Statutes of 1837, c. CXI, s. 50. 

50 The State v. James Barrow, 7 N. C. 121 (1819) ; The State v. Thomas Long, 31 
N. C 488 (1849). 



Aspects of the Slave Code, 1715-1860 153 

against them in court. Therefore free Negroes were held responsible 
for their bastard children. 21 

Although a slave could not testify against a white person in court, 
a slave could testify to certain facts in civil suits. The State Supreme 
Court ruled that in a civil suit for the value of an injured slave, the 
testimony of the slave concerning his health and the condition of his 
body was admissible as evidence. 22 

Until 1821 a slave on trial for a capital offense could not be con- 
victed on the testimony of a single colored witness. Such testimony had 
to be supported by a "credible witness," which meant a white person. 
The object was to protect slave defendants from the perjury of colored 
persons. It was especially feared that colored persons might commit 
perjury in order to injure the master by causing the conviction and 
loss of his slave. The State Supreme Court in 1821 pointed out that 
the need for "credible witnesses" in support of colored testimony 
against slaves was necessary before trial by jury was extended to 
slaves. But after 1793 such supporting testimony was unnecessary, and 
Chief Justice John Louis Taylor ruled in 1821 that the unsupported 
testimony of one colored witness could convict a slave of a capital 
crime, if the jury believed the witness. This placed the slave defendant 
on the same level with white defendants in capital crimes, for one 
witness could convict a white man charged with homicide. 23 

When the judicial process was exhausted for a slave charged with a 
capital offense there remained for him one hope of avoiding the 
hangman. The slaves in ante-bellum North Carolina had the privilege 
of appeal to the Governor for executive clemency in capital convic- 
tions. This appeal was usually made by the owner of the slave, but 
it sometimes was made by the slave's attorney or by interested white 
persons in the community. In some instances entire communities peti- 
tioned the Governor in behalf of convicted slaves. Such appeals for 
clemency were frequent in North Carolina, and in many instances the 
appeals resulted in full pardon for convicted slaves. 24 

Slaves never received the privilege of instituting proceedings in the 
State courts, but had to rely upon friendly whites to institute suits for 
them. Throughout the ante-bellum period punishment for violation of 
minor police regulations was inflicted upon slaves by the county slave 
patrols without the formality of a trial. The most common violation 

21 The State v. Williamson Haithcock, 33 N. C. 32 (1850). 

22 Thomas Biles v. Moses L. Holmes et al, 33 N. C. 16 (1850). 

23 State v. Ben, a Slave, 8 N. C. 434 (1821). 

24 Letter Book of Governor Montf ort Stokes, May 1, 5, and December 5, 1831. Gov- 
ernor's Letter Books No. 29, State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. 



154 The North Carolina Historical Review 

was being at large without a written pass from some responsible white 
citizen. The patrol could not legally inflict greater punishment for 
any offense than fifteen lashes, though an additional thirty-nine lashes 
could be inflicted for insolence. 25 Patrols were not liable to civil action 
by the master for imposing excessive punishment upon a slave unless 
their conduct showed malice against the owner. 26 

The "nigger trader" was a person who earned part or all of his live- 
lihood by bartering with slaves and free Negroes. These traders were 
a universal and inevitable accompaniment of southern slavery. Small 
storekeepers, peddlers, tavern keepers and distillers, small farmers, and 
free Negroes participated in the trade. Most white citizens frowned 
upon the trade because it gave the slaves a strong incentive to steal. 
Most North Carolinians agreed with the contributor to the Farmers' 
Register who warned that Negroes 

. . . should in no instance be permitted to trade, except with their masters. 
By permitting them to leave the plantation with the view of selling and 
buying, more is lost by the owner than he is generally aware of. 27 

Despite public opinion the trade continued throughout the ante-bellum 
period. Slaves naturally sought to procure many articles which most 
masters did not provide— trinkets, bright clothes, knives, fancy food, 
or liquor. With the exception of a few articles, such as liquor and 
firearms, the law permitted trading. The object of the law was to 
regulate the trade, not absolutely to prohibit trading, and trading was 
circumscribed only in order to protect the community from theft. 
Unscrupulous men would accept any goods from slaves, perhaps even 
encourage them to steal. The principle of the law was to punish the 
trader more severely than the slave. This made the trader less willing 
to accept stolen goods and reduced the slave's incentive to steal. The 
law was always more concerned with what a slave might give to a 
trader than with what the slave might receive in exchange. 

The first enactment regulating the trade with slaves was a statute 
of 1715. This act provided that "whosoever shall buy, sell, Trade, 
Truck, Borrow or Lend to or with . . ." any slave without the written 
permission of the slave's master would be liable for "treble the Value 
of the thing . . ." traded. The act further provided that the offending 
trader pay £ 10 to the master of the slave. 28 No provision was made 

25 Weeks, Southern Quakers and Slavery, 210, 215, 218, 229; Revised Code of 185U, 
c. 83, s. 3. 

26 Tate v. O'Neal, et ah, 8 N. C. 418 (1821). 

27 Farmer's Register, III (June, 1836), 114. 

28 Clark, State Records, XXIII, 64. 



Aspects of the Slave Code, 1715-1860 155 

for punishing the slave, that duty apparently being left to the discre- 
tion of the master. In 1741 the fine imposed upon violators was reduced 
from £10 to £6, with a provision that if the trader could not pay the 
fine he would be hired out by the county court. 29 In 1778 physical 
punishment was introduced with the provision that traders convicted 
under the act should serve ten days in jail in addition to paying a 
fine. 30 

A statute of 1788 remained the basic act regulating trading with 
slaves throughout the ante-bellum period. The act required that a slave 
possess written permission from his master for each act of trading. The 
written note was to describe the article which the slave offered for 
sale. Traders who accepted articles from slaves who did not possess 
written permission were punished by fine and imprisonment. The fine 
was limited to £10 and damages, and the prison sentence could not 
exceed three months. 31 In 1826 the legislature enumerated those articles 
which a slave could not sell without written permission from his 
master. The list included cotton, tobacco, corn, pork, farming utensils, 
nails, meal, flour, liquor, vegetables, livestock, lumber, potatoes, and 
other items which a slave might steal from his master. Violators of this 
statute could be fined $50 or imprisoned for three months upon con- 
viction. 32 The act of 1826 also provided a fine of $100 as punishment 
for those convicted of giving forged permits to trade to slaves. 33 

The legislature was aware that slaves sometimes stole goods in order 
to trade with one another. The act of 1826 provided that any slave 
who bought or received any articles of food or personal property from 
another slave "contrary to the true meaning of this act . . ." should 
upon conviction before any justice of the peace receive thirty-nine 
lashes "well laid on. . . ." 34 

The legislature realized that as "long as a slave had the price of an 
article, a tradesman was not likely to ask him to show his trading 
permit." 35 Many owners of small stores and taverns were inclined to 
trade with slaves regardless of the prohibitions of the law. In order 
better to regulate such tradesmen and to make certain they did not 
trade illegally with slaves, the legislature made it illegal for any slave 
to enter any "store house, ware house, tippling shop, or other place 



29 Clark, State Records, XXIII, 194. 

30 Clark, State Records, XXIV, 220. 

31 Laws of North Carolina, 1788, c. VII, s. 1: see also Laws of North Carolina, 1791, 
c. IV. 

32 Laws of North Carolina, 1826, c. XIII, ss. 1 and 2. 

33 Laws of North Carolina, 1826, c. XIII, s. 3. 

34 Laws of North Carolina, 1826, c. XIII, s. 4. 

^Guion Griffis Johnson, Ante-Bellum North Carolina: A Social History (Chapel 
Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1937), 533. 



156 The North Carolina Historical Review 

fitted up for trading, unless sent by his, her, or their owner . . ." after 
nine o'clock at night or before daybreak and on Sundays. Even those 
slaves who possessed legal permits could remain in such establishments 
only fifteen minutes at a time during the proscribed periods. The slave 
patrol was authorized to punish violators of this act. The act further 
provided that if any slave carried any of the enumerated goods into 
a trading establishment and did not bring the same goods out again, 
or if he brought out different goods, this would be accepted as pre- 
sumptive evidence of illegal trading in the trial of the storekeeper. 36 

The legislature in 1798 prohibited the sale of liquor to any slave 
except for the use of the slave's owner or overseer. 37 Slaveowners de- 
manded this legislation because unrestricted sale of liquor to slaves 
often incapacitated slaves through drunkenness. Sometimes harassed 
masters publicly notified local traders of an intention to prosecute any 
traders who supplied their slaves with whiskey. 38 

An act of 1826 provided that when a slave was convicted of illegal 
trading and sentenced to receive thirty-nine lashes by the court of the 
single justice of the peace, the master could appeal the slave's sentence. 
All prosecutions for violations of the statute had to be instituted within 
twelve months after the violation occurred. 39 

The practice of emancipation was as old as the institution of slavery. 
A statute of 1715 simply stated the custom of the colony, that any 
master could liberate a slave "as a Reward for his, or their honest & 
Faithful service." It was expressly stated that no "Runaways or Re- 
fractory Negroes . . ." should in any case be emancipated. Emancipa- 
tion of such troublemakers would encourage other slaves to misbehave 
in the hope of receiving emancipation from the harassed master. Even 
as early as 1715 free Negroes were not considered a desirable element 
of society, and the act of 1715 required all emancipated Negroes to 
leave North Carolina within six months of their emancipation. Freed- 
men who refused to leave the province were sold by the precinct 
court for a term of five years to "such person or persons as shall give 
security for their Transportation. . . ." In view of the fact that the 
number of free Negroes in North Carolina exceeded 30,000 in 1860, 
the deportation provisions of the emancipation laws could not have 
been strictly enforced. 40 

36 Laws of North Carolina, 1826, c. XIII, s. 6. 

37 Laws of North Carolina, 1798, c. XVIII, s. 8. 

38 Hillsborough Recorder, January 16, 1822. 

89 Laws of North Carolina, 1826, c. XIII, s. 7. 

40 Clark, State Records, XXIII, 65; John Spencer Bassett, Slavery in the State of 
North Carolina (Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 17th 
Series, No. VII-VIII, of The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and 
Political Science, H.B. Adams [ed.], 1899), 77. 



Aspects of the Slave Code, 1715-1860 157 

A statute of 1741 prescribed the method whereby a master could 
legally emancipate a slave in North Carolina. The master was required 
to prove to the county court that the slave he intended to emancipate 
had performed "meritorious services." If the county court was satis- 
fied that the Negro had performed extraordinary services and deserved 
emancipation, the Court issued a license to emancipate to the master. 41 
The license itself did not constitute an emancipation, but only gave 
the sanction of the law to the master's act of emancipation. Emanci- 
pation always remained the private act of the master and a license to 
emancipate simply protected the freedom of the Negro after he was 
liberated. The act of 1741 governed emancipation in North Carolina 
until 1830. 

During the ninety-year interval from 1741 to 1830 it became ap- 
parent that the county courts were abusing the power to grant licenses 
to emancipate. In most of the courts licenses were freely granted upon 
the request of the master, without regard to the performance of the 
"meritorious services" required by the law. As the national debate 
over slavery began to develop, an increasing number of white citizens 
viewed with alarm the mounting number of freedmen in the State. 
This alarm caused the legislature in 1830 to remove from the county 
courts the power to grant licenses to emancipate. The law of 1830 
established the following procedure for emancipating slaves. Any 
master who wished to free a slave was required to file a petition with 
one of the superior courts of the State. The petition contained the 
name, age, and sex of the slave to be liberated. The superior court con- 
sidered the petition, and if the petition were granted, two additional 
requirements were made of the master. First, the master had to give 
notice at the county courthouse and in the State Gazette at least six 
weeks prior to the hearing, saying that he intended to liberate the 
slave. This was to protect all creditors or parties who had an interest 
in the slave. Second, the master was required to post a bond of $1,000 
for each Negro emancipated. The bond was forfeited if the slave did 
not "honestly and correctly demean him [self] . . ." while he remained 
in the State and if, within ninety days of the emancipation, the slave 
did not leave the State and "never afterwards come within the same." 42 
A master wishing to emancipate any slave over fifty years of age for 
meritorious services was required to give a complete statement of the 
reason for granting the emancipation, and had to take an oath that he 
had not received money or other consideration from the Negro as an 

41 Clark, State Records, XXIII, 203-204. 

43 Laws of North Carolina, 1830, c. IX, s. 1. 



158 The North Carolina Historical Review 

inducement to grant the manumission. Such an emancipated slave could 
remain within the State if he chose. 43 

The State courts were in sympathy with the prevailing attitude that 
few slaves should be emancipated. Many masters attempted to evade 
the law by providing for emancipation with the intention that the 
freedman remain in the State. But after 1830 the deportation clause of 
the emancipation law was regularly enforced, and when it was clear to 
the courts that a master intended to evade the deportation provision, 
this was sufficient to revoke the attempted emancipation. 44 

The question of how much personal security the law should extend 
to slaves posed a serious problem in ante-bellum North Carolina. The 
use of physical coercion by the master was absolutely necessary to en- 
force the labor of the slave, but at what point should the power of the 
master be curtailed by law? Population was too sparse and individual- 
ism too strong to allow government agencies to determine each in- 
fringement of discipline on the part of a slave, and the discipline of the 
Negroes was necessarily in the hands of the individual slaveowners. 
The legislature extended statutory protection to the slave in the form 
of acts to punish the homicide of slaves. But it was left for the courts 
to determine how much punishment short of death a master might 
inflict upon a Negro. In performing its duty the State Supreme Court 
established a number of precedents which limited the power of the 
master over the slave. The most important of these will be considered 
below. 

Until 1774 North Carolina did not consider the killing of a slave 
homicide. The only security the slave enjoyed was the right of his 
master to enter suit against anyone who killed his slave. Such a suit 
was for recovery of the value of the Negro, and was not intended as 
punishment for homicide. In 1774 the State enacted a statute which 
made the deliberate homicide of a slave punishable by an imprison- 
ment of twelve months, and on a second conviction, death. One who 
murdered a slave of another, on conviction, was liable to the owner for 
the value of the slave. 45 Considering this law "disgraceful to humanity 
and degrading ... to the laws and principles of a free christian and 
enlightened country . . ." the legislature in 1791 provided that "if any 
person shall hereafter be guilty of wilfully and maliciously killing a 
slave such offender shall . . . suffer the same punishment as if he had 
killed a free man. . . ." 46 



49 Laws of North Carolina, 1830, c. IX, s. 4. 

14 See Thomas D. Bennehan's Executor v. John W. Norwood, Executor, et at, 40 
N. C. 106 (1847) ; David Green et al. v. Hardy B. Lane et a£., 43 N. C, 70 (1851). 
46 Laws of North Carolina, 1774, c. XXXI, ss. 2 and 3. 
"Laws of North Carolina^ 1791, c. IV, s. 3. 



Aspects of the Slave Code. 1715-1860 159 



The structure of the act of 1791 was fatally deficient. In 1801 the 
Court of Conference 47 pointed out that the statute did not clearly make 
the deliberate killing of a slave a felony, because the law read "as if 
he killed a free man," and not "as if he wilfully and maliciously killed 
a free man. . . ." The statute failed to differentiate the various degrees 
of homicide. The homicide of "a free man" could fall into one of three 
divisions— murder, manslaughter, and simple homicide which carried 
no punishment. Associate Justice John Hall noted that punishments 
"ought to be plainly defined and easy to be understood; they ought not 
to depend upon construction or arbitrary discretion." The offense of 
killing a slave was not clearly a felony under the act of 1791, therefore 
the benefit of the doubt was accorded the defendant in the case which 
tested the act. 48 

Because of doubts concerning proper construction of the 1791 law, 
the General Assembly strengthened the wording of the statute to 
provide that "if any person shall hereafter be guilty of feloniously, 
wilfully, and maliciously killing any slave . . ." he should suffer death 
without benefit of clergy. 49 This law also contained a fatal loophole. 
It provided only for punishing the manslaughter of a slave; extenuation 
had the effect of freeing those on trial under this law. 50 

In 1817 the legislature finally enacted an effective law extending 
protection to the life of the slave. The statute provided that the offense 
of killing a slave should "hereafter be denominated and considered 
homicide, and shall partake of the same degree of guilt when accom- 
panied with the like circumstances that homicide now does at common 
law." 51 This statute raised the thorny question of extenuation of homi- 
cide between the two races. The legislature wisely made no attempt to 
enumerate all the provocations which could extenuate a homicide be- 
tween the races, but left the courts free to determine each case on its 
merits. A few decisions of the State Supreme Court in homicide cases 
involving both races will illustrate the liberal trend in the Court. 

In State v. Weaver the Court ruled justifiable homicide on facts 
showing that a master used force in an effort to extract obedience from 
his slave. When the slave resisted, the master attacked the slave and 
killed him. 52 This decision was rendered in 1798. In 1839, however, the 
Court ruled that where death resulted from excessive punishment of a 
slave, the master was guilty of murder. The Court noted that punish- 

47 This term was used prior to the establishment of the State Supreme Court in 1818. 

"State v. Boon, 1 N. C. 191 (1801). 

"Laws of North Carolina, 1801, c. XXI. 

80 State v. Tackett, 8 N. C. 210 (1820). 

51 Laws of North Carolina, 1817, c. XVIII. 

'"State v. Weaver, 3 N. C. 54 (1798). 



160 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ment of slaves was often necessary, and stated that if death resulted 
accidentally during moderate punishment, the master would receive 
consideration from the Court. But when the punishment was bar- 
barous and immoderate and denoted the intention of the master to 
terminate the life of the slave, he was held to be guilty of murder. The 
sentence of death against the master was upheld by the State Supreme 
Court. 53 

In State v. Robhins the Court further declared that a master had no 
legal right to inflict punishment upon a slave with any deadly weapon, 
such as a buggy whip, an axe, or a gun. If death resulted from such 
punishment, the Court warned, the master would be guilty of murder. 54 

In 1801 the question arose whether slaves in North Carolina were 
included under the protection of the common law. The common law of 
North Carolina derived from the English common law, and in 1711 
the North Carolina Assembly had specifically declared that the Eng- 
lish common law was in force in the colony. 55 The English common law 
however, did not recognize the existence of the institution of slavery 
The North Carolina Court determined that general criminal statutes 
did not include slaves unless they were specifically mentioned. 57 In 
1823, however, the State Supreme Court had ruled that an indictment 
for murder of a slave was sufficient under the common law. 58 The 
Court also ruled that an unprovoked battery upon a slave by a party 
having no authority over the Negro was indictable at common law. 59 
This decision served to restrain white men from wanton attacks upon 
Negroes, enhanced the personal security of each slave, and gave added 
protection to the property of the master. 

It must be noted that the owner of a slave could not be indicted for 
an assault upon the Negro, even if the assault was unprovoked and 
excessive. Only if the Negro died from excessive punishment would the 
law interfere, and in such instances the master was indicted for murder. 
The threat of indictment must have restrained some masters who would 
otherwise have inflicted immoderate punishment. But having estab- 
lished that an unprovoked assault upon a slave by a white man having 
no authority over him was an indictable offense at common law, the 



56 



53 State v. John Hoover, 20 N. C. 500 (1839). 

51 State v. Christopher Robhins, 48 N. C. 250 (1855). 

65 Kemp P. Battle, An Address on the History of the Supreme Court, Delivered in 
the Hall of the House of Representatives, February Uth, 1889 (Raleigh: Edwards and 
Broughton, 1889), 13-14. 

50 Somerset v. Stewart, 98 English Reports, Court of King's Bench 499 (1772). 

m State v. Tom, a Slave, 44 N. C. 214 (1853). 

08 State v. Reed, 9 N. C. 454 (1823). 

59 State v. Hale, 9 N. C. 582 (1823). 



Aspects of the Slave Code. 1715-1860 161 



State Supreme Court proceeded to create a body of precedents govern- 
ing assault upon slaves. 

In State v. Hale the Court stated that in cases of assault upon a slave 
a defendant could claim as provocation acts of a slave which would be 
no provocation between social equals. Chief Justice John Louis Taylor 
stated that many circumstances would constitute a legal provocation 
for an assault upon a slave "which would not constitute a legal provoca- 
tion for a battery by one white man on another. . . ." It was impossible 
for the Court to enumerate every circumstance which might justify 
an assault upon a Negro, but Taylor stated that "the circumstances 
must be judged of by the court and jury with a due regard to the 
habits and feelings of society." Taylor emphasized the point that an 
unprovoked attack upon a slave was indictable at common law. 60 

In State v. Jarrott a slave had been insolent to a white man, and 
the white man attacked the Negro with a piece of fence rail and a knife. 
The Negro resisted and killed the white man. The sentence of death 
passed in superior court was reversed by the Supreme Court because 
the assault upon the Negro, although deserved, was excessive. The 
Court declared that insolence from a slave justified a white man in 
administering moderate punishment with an ordinary instrument of 
correction. But the Court warned that such provocations did not 
authorize excessive punishment with a dangerous weapon. 61 This de- 
cision clearly established the right of a slave to resist an unprovoked 
or excessive battery by a white man who was not his owner. 

In 1834 the issue was raised whether a slave could legally resist an 
excessive battery by his master or overseer. The slave defendant, Will, 
had performed a breach of plantation duty and then fled punishment. 
The plantation overseer shot Will and then overtook him. Although 
wounded, Will was able to use his knife, and he wounded the overseer 
so severely that the overseer died within a few hours of the struggle. 
Convicted of murder, an appeal was taken to the State Supreme Court. 

The Court stated that Will deserved punishment for his breach of 
duty. But the overseer had no right to shoot Will with a shotgun, not 
even to prevent his escape. After Will was wounded it became natural 
passion for him to fight for his life. The Court ruled that the homicide 
of the overseer was not murder but was only manslaughter. Will was 
subsequently sent to Mississippi by his master, but trouble dogged 
Will's steps. The fate of Will was revealed in a remark by his wife who 
later returned to North Carolina. " 'Will sho'ly had hard luck. He killed 



60 State v. Hale, 9 N. C. 582 (1823). 

81 The State v. Jarrott, a> Slave, 23 N. C. 76 (1840). 



162 The North Carolina Historical Review 



a white man in North Carolina and got off, and then was hung for 
killing a nigger in Mississippi/ " 62 

It became the established opinion of the State Supreme Court that 
a slave could not resist a moderate and deserved punishment from his 
master. If he did, his act justified the master in inflicting severe punish- 
ment. But if the master inflicted excessive punishment which might 
result in death the Court ruled that a slave was justified in offering 
resistance. And if resistance terminated in the death of the master the 
slave could only be guilty of manslaughter, not murder. 63 

Thomas Rufrm was one of the most distinguished jurists of ante- 
bellum North Carolina and he served as Chief Justice of the State 
Supreme Court from 1833 until 1852. Ruffm vigorously dissented from 
the majority opinions which allowed a slave to plead extenuation in 
the homicide of a white man. Ruffm considered it dangerous to society 
and incompatible with the continuance of the institution of slavery for 
a slave to offer resistance to his master or overseer for any reason. 64 
Although Ruffm argued warmly and well he never succeeded in win- 
ning the majority of the Court to his point of view, and the decisions 
cited above became precedents for the superior courts in trials of 
slaves charged with the homicide. Judge Joseph J. Daniel had earlier 
held that an overseer could correct a slave for leaving work without 
permission, but he had no right to use a deadly weapon when the 
slave offered no resistance. 65 Ruffm warned that indulgence by the 
Court would result in a fatal weakening of the discipline necessary to 
preserve the institution of slavery. 66 

Slavery existed in North Carolina before a slave code existed in the 
province. The code gradually developed as necessity demanded and 
the content of the code became increasingly concerned with the protec- 
tion of the slave not only as property but as a human being. Many men 
realized that the institution of slavery was the only alternative the South 
had to universal emancipation and acceptance of Negroes on a level of 
equality with white citizens. Since few southerners would accept Negro 
equality, and the expense of emancipation and removal of the Negroes 
was prohibitive, there was no alternative for the people of the South 
except to maintain the institution of slavery. But slavery itself was 
liberalized and the Negroes given as much security as was possible 

63 Joseph H. Schauinger, William Gaston, Carolinian (Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Bruce 
Printing Company, 1949), 169. 

83 State v. Negro Will, slave of James S. Battle, 18 N. C. 121 (1834) ; State v. David, 
a Slave, 49 N. C. 354 (1857) ; The State v. John Hoover, 20 N. C. 500 (1839) ; and The 
State v. Jarrott, a Slave, 23 N. C. 76 (1840). 

"State v. Caesar, a Slave, 31 N. C. 391 (1849). 

65 Martha Copeland v. John F. Parker, 25 N. C. 513 (1843). 

66 State v. Caesar, a Slave, 31 N. C. 391 (1849). 



Aspects of the Slave Code, 1715-1860 



163 



under the circumstances. The only area in which the North Carolina 
code truly fell short of giving the slaves a maximum of protection was 
the failure of the State to recognize the validity of slave marriages. 
But between 1776 and 1830 the slaves of North Carolina received many 
valuable privileges before the law. Among these were the privileges of 
trial by jury, challenge of jurors, and appeal; protection by statute law 
from homicide; personal security under the provisions of the common 
law; appeal to the Governor for clemency in capital convictions; and 
benefit of clergy. It is to the credit of the people of North Carolina 
that these privileges were not taken from the slaves even during the 
years 1845 to 1860, when the national debate over slavery became 
increasingly bitter. During these years the lower courts displayed a 
tendency toward stricter enforcement of the code, but the number of 
reversals of lower court decisions by the State Supreme Court testifies 
to the fact that the Supreme Court upheld the rights of the slaves 
before the law throughout the ante-bellum period. Probably by 1860 
the Supreme Court was more generous toward slaves than was the 
society in which the Court functioned. 

The severity of the slave code is often attacked as unreasonable and 
as proof of the condition of fear in which the white people of the South 
lived. Certainly the slave code canvassed the activities of slaves 
thoroughly. By 1860 slaves in North Carolina could not legally bear 
arms, be taught to read or write, assemble without written permission, 
or leave their place of residence without permission from the master. 
But it is true that most provisions of the code were not regularly en- 
forced. The people of North Carolina enforced only as much of the 
slave code as seemed necessary at a given time. This was due in part 
to the difficulty of enforcement. The State was sparsely settled, and 
nothing short of chains could have prevented the unauthorized as- 
sembling of slaves in the woods and byways of the countryside. More- 
over, enforcement officers were not given to over-exertion when there 
was not unusual need for rigorous enforcement of the law. General dis- 
content among the slaves was rare and violent uprisings few. Usually 
the slaves went about their tasks in their slow and inefficient way. If 
by night they left the plantation without a pass to visit a friend on a 
nearby farm, or congregated in a patch of pines for a "social bout/' 
this only served to keep them contented and required no enforcement 
of laws against such activities. The intense individualism of the average 
Carolina farmer also made enforcement of the code difficult. If a 
master needed a slave who could read, he would instruct one of them 
without much regard for the law. This was true of any task or trade 



164 The North Carolina Historical Review 

which the master wished his slaves to learn. The master felt that his 
farm was his own domain, and the instruction of his slaves a private 
concern. This individualism served in some instances to prevent the 
full operation of laws designed to protect slaves. A master often meted 
out punishment in such measure as he thought necessary, and if it 
were excessive and cruel, the privacy of the act often protected him 
from prosecution. 

There was much oppression and brutality in the slave regime— 
although one may say with U. B. Phillips, "where in the struggling 
world are these absent?" The sweeping statements that Negroes had no 
rights in the Old South, or that white men were rarely punished for 
crimes against slaves can no longer be accepted. At least in ante-bellum 
North Carolina these statements do not apply, and the time has come 
to turn from generalizations to a study of the legal documents available 
throughout the area which comprised the slaveholding South. 



THE LOCAL RECORDS PROGRAM IN 
NORTH CAROLINA 

By John Alexander McMahon* 

This opportunity to describe North Carolina's Local Records Pro- 
gram grows out of a panel discussion in which I participated this past 
October. It took place at the annual meeting of the Society of American 
Archivists in Kansas City. The panel described the assistance to local 
officials rendered by the State archival agency in three States, including 
ours, and I thoroughly enjoyed describing what we know to be the best 
program in the United States. I wish that all local officials could obtain 
the help from their own State agency that local officials in North 
Carolina receive from our State Department of Archives and History, 
for local officials in other States need the help just as badly as we do. 

It will be helpful in the beginning to look at the size of our local 
records problem in North Carolina. A certain portion of you may be 
aware of some of these records, but few, I suspect, are aware of all 
of them. Many of these records have great historical interest, while 
others have transitory importance. It is, therefore, necessary in this 
welter of paper to distinguish the records of permanent value from 
the rest, to protect and preserve them, and to keep them readily 
available, first for administrative use, and second for historical research. 

( 1 ) There are the minutes of the meetings of 100 boards of county 
commissioners, 400 city and town boards, 173 school boards, elections 
boards, welfare boards, health boards, ABC boards, planning and zon- 
ing boards, and many others. 

(2) There are the records generated by meetings of these boards, 
including ordinances, petitions, letters, claims, appointments, contracts, 
and so on. 

(3) There are the fiscal records: budgets, tax records, receipts, in- 
voices, payrolls, checks, ledgers, bank statements, reports, and audits, 
as well as the memorandum records kept in the various county and 



* Mr. McMahon is General Counsel of the North Carolina Association of County 
Commissioners, Chapel Hill. This article was originally read at the luncheon meeting 
of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, December 1, 1961. 



166 The North Carolina Historical Review 

municipal departments covering expenditures of hundreds of millions 
of dollars. 

( 4 ) There are the records of clerks of superior court and other court 
clerks: dockets, minutes, case records, indexes, wills, records of estates, 
divorce proceedings, adoptions, guardianships, special proceedings, and 
so on. 

(5) There are the records of registers of deeds: deeds, maps, mort- 
gages, birth and death certificates, and many, many others. 

(6) There are election records and registration books; public wel- 
fare case records and other documents; public health reports on in- 
spections, diseases, and other activities; public school and activity 
records; sheriff, police department, and fire department activity rec- 
ords; and so on, and on, and on. 

Imagine what would happen if some of these records were destroyed; 
the legal problems that would arise from the loss of deed and plat 
books in the register of deeds' office; the marital problems that would 
arise from the destruction of marriage records in the register's office or 
divorce records in the clerk's office; the confusion that would arise from 
the destruction of records involving the settlement of estates in the 
clerk's office; and the multitude of similar problems that could arise 
from the destruction of other records. 

Yet half of our counties have experienced fires bringing such destruc- 
tion. Some records have suffered from neglect in offices where every- 
thing is retained and nothing is protected. And some records have been 
destroyed in offices where all but the immediately needed records are 
discarded. 

The partial list of records outlined above shows the size of the 
problem. These records are being created daily in thousands of offices. 
They are threatening to engulf our courthouses, city halls, and office 
buildings. Space is needed to house the important ones, and this space 
is costly. If we are not careful, we may find ourselves building costly 
space for unimportant records. 

As is so often the case, the stating of the problem, the recognition of 
the problem, suggests solutions. 

First, we need to analyze the mass of records, destroy the useless, 
identify the period of usefulness of the temporarily useful, and desig- 
nate the permanent. 

Second, we need to protect and preserve permanent records against 
neglect, defacement, mutilation, fire, theft, and the public enemy. 
These important records effect the lives and property of all of us, and 



The Local Records Program 167 

they should be preserved for that reason as well as for their priceless 
historical value. 

Third, we need to give attention to the more efficient and economi- 
cal creation and utilization of records. 

But county officials, busy with day to day activity and unskilled in 
the science of archival management, need help. Your Association rec- 
ognized this almost fifty years ago. In 1914 it adopted a resolution 
calling on the State to help counties protect and preserve records, so 
they would be accessible for historical purposes. The beginning was 
slow, and it consisted mainly of visits to courthouses to seek the trans- 
fer of historically valuable records to the State Archives, where they 
would be more accessible. But the activity has increased in scope and 
intensity, until today our Department of Archives and History con- 
ducts the most comprehensive assistance program to local officials to 
be found in the United States. 

The Department is now carrying on a three-part program to assist 
local officials with their records problems. 

First, there is the records disposal program. Our Public Records Act 
of 1935, after directing the custodians of public records to safeguard 
them, to make them available to the public, and to turn them over to 
their successors, went one step further. It prohibited public officials 
from destroying or disposing of public records without the consent of 
the State Department of Archives and History ( then the North Caro- 
lina Historical Commission). Specifically, the 1935 Act provides that 
when the custodian of any official records concludes that they no 
longer have use or value for official business, they may be turned 
over to the State Department of Archives and History; or if they have 
no further use or value for research or reference, as determined by the 
Department, the records may, with the approval of the county or 
municipal governing body, be destroyed. 

It was through the judicious exercise of this authority over destruc- 
tion and disposal of public records that the State Department of Arch- 
ives and History earned the confidence of local officials and the 
General Assembly. This confidence led to the more recent develop- 
ments, and the remaining two parts of our three-part program. 

Second, there is the microfilming program. The 1959 General As- 
sembly, at the specific urging of the local officials who came to appre- 
ciate the help of the State Department of Archives and History, 
directed the Department to undertake a program of inventorying, re- 
pairing, and microfilming county records having permanent value. The 
goal, of course, is a security copy of permanent records, filed in the 



168 The North Carolina Historical Review 

State Archives, to guard against the possibility of destruction by fire, 
theft, disaster, or neglect. But in the process, at the county level, we 
obtain an inventory of all records, restoration of records in need of 
repair, schedules for destruction of records after they have served their 
purpose, and plenty of sound advice on the solutions to a multitude 
of records problems. 

Third, there is the records management program. The 1961 Gen- 
eral Assembly directed the State Department of Archives and History 
to administer a records management program to apply "efficient and 
economical management methods to the creation, utilization, mainte- 
nance, retention, preservation, and disposal of official records." Boards 
of county commissioners and governing bodies of municipalities are 
directed "to cooperate with the State Department of Archives and 
History in conducting surveys and to establish and maintain an active, 
continuing program for the economical and efficient management of 
the records of said [county or municipality] ." We are just getting into 
this program, the newest of the three. 

This interest in records, and their historical as well as administra- 
tive importance, is typical of the far-sightedness of our legislature. 
Our State has gone far beyond most others in taking this interest in 
local records problems. And it is, I believe, a matter of some historical 
interest in its own right to take a look at how it came about. 

Two separate and distinct developments shed light on how this State 
assistance program came to be. One is our history of State-local rela- 
tions. And the other is the activity of the Department of Archives and 
History itself. 

County officials have regularly turned to State officials for help, and 
we have developed a high degree of State-county co-operation. As 
early as 1925, our Association requested Governor McLean to appoint 
a commission to study county government and to make recommenda- 
tions for its improvement. In the years since, we have requested the 
creation of other agencies to provide help and assistance. Moreover, 
the General Assembly, to insure uniformity in the performance of 
functions that the State had an interest in, has granted supervisory 
power to State agencies for county school, welfare, health, hospital, 
library, agricultural extension, civil defense, and other programs. And 
when local debt problems became almost unmanageable in the late 
1920's and early 1930's, the General Assembly created and gave to 
our Local Government Commission supervisory authority over county 
and municipal debt. Thus it is quite natural for counties to turn to the 
State for help and quite natural for the State to provide it. 



The Local Records Program 169 

The second development that sheds light on our State-assistance 
program is the way the Department of Archives and History has oper- 
ated over the years. Had our State Archivist been too aggressive in 
telling county officials how to manage records, State-county co-opera- 
tion would have died a-borning. By being available to help when help 
was needed, however, and by relying more on giving advice than 
giving directions, our Department obtained the confidence of county 
officials. By calling on local officials to help in developing the advice 
that was given, the Department was able to give advice that had the 
flavor of common sense and practicality that made it readily accept- 
able. The word has spread from satisfied official to satisfied official by 
phone, by letter, and through discussion at meetings of associations 
of the county and municipal officials involved. 

The archivists at the recent meeting in Kansas City were very much 
interested in what our county officials thought of our State-assistance 
program. In my talk there I emphasized, particularly, the value to our 
smaller counties. 

Large counties have advantages that small ones do not. First of all, 
they have a tax base sufficient to buy modern equipment. They can 
hire consultants, and with a large population they generally have 
people close at hand with the expertise to solve almost any problem. 

Small counties are not so fortunate, either from a monetary stand- 
point or from a population standpoint. They need help just as badly— 
problems vary so often only in degree— yet they cannot afford con- 
sultants to present solutions, and often they cannot afford the solutions 
themselves. In the records area, the people in our State Department 
of Archives and History have assumed a leading role. They are avail- 
able to consult with county officials in all of our counties, particularly 
the small ones who would otherwise probably have gone without help. 
They have undertaken the microfilming of permanent records, which 
in many small counties, because of long distances from population 
centers and low volumes of records to process, would have been pro- 
hibitively expensive. 

So our small counties, particularly, but the larger ones too, have 
found in our Department both the advice and the procedures that 
would have otherwise been unavailable. The decade of the 1950's was, 
as we all know, a period of records explosion just as it was a period of 
population explosion. The first, of course, is a factor of the second, as 
well as a result of the postwar upswing in the economy. This pre- 
sented space problems to many of our counties, small and large, as 
courthouses threatened to burst at the seams with growing numbers 



170 The North Carolina Historical Review 

of records. The Department of Archives and History was available and 
helpful. It has encouraged the destruction of records no longer needed, 
to provide space for new records within existing walls. Creating and 
working with an Advisory Committee of County Records, it has cre- 
ated a manual to guide county officials on the useful life of the many 
hundreds of records found in our courthouses. This manual lists the 
records to be found in our counties, lists for each the period of admin- 
istrative usefulness, recommends the period of retention, and gives 
procedures for destruction of records no longer useful. 

So our officials have found assistance from the Department in de- 
termining, as custodians of public records, just how long records 
should be retained to protect the rights and interests of persons, for 
the orderly operation of government, and for historical and research 
purposes. 

With a new program of records management soon to begin, our 
county officials now look forward to advice on creation and utilization 
of records, with a view to more efficient and economical operation of 
activities which involve records. 

But these are words. Some specifics may document the assistance 
provided. 

First, some examples of problems presented by the accumulation of 
records. The Clerk of Superior Court in Halifax County was about to 
outgrow his office space. After a visit from Admiral A. M. Patterson, 
our experienced and capable Assistant State Archivist, a large number 
of records no longer in current use were scheduled for disposal. Suffi- 
cient usable space was thus provided to meet needs for another ten 
years. The Clerk of Superior Court in New Hanover County had rec- 
ords that had overflowed his own office, into the basement, and into 
the attic of the courthouse. Following a survey by Admiral Patterson, 
one truck load of permanently valuable records was transferred to the 
State Archives, and two truck loads were destroyed. Space was thus 
provided for preserving valuable records and for providing access to 
current records, and a serious fire hazard was removed. Guilford 
County has been assisted in determining record space needs, and reg- 
ular schedules for record destruction have been prepared. In the 
municipal area, the Raleigh city government recently moved into a 
new and modern city hall. Department personnel assisted in schedul- 
ing for destruction a large accumulation of records in the old city hall 
that had no further administrative or historical use, thus enabling the 
city to clean house before moving to the new location. 



The Local Records Program 171 

Second, some examples of help in disasters. A 1960 hurricane flooded 
the first floor of the Hyde County Courthouse to a depth of nine 
inches. Innumerable records were water soaked. A representative of 
the Department assisted in drying out the records, and five volumes 
of permanent value were rebound in a restoration project. In the same 
year, the basement of the Robeson County Courthouse was flooded. 
After Admiral Patterson inspected the damage, records in current use 
were set up on end to dry, and pages were separated frequently to 
prevent sticking. Records no longer in current use were then and there 
scheduled for destruction. 

Third, some examples of restoration projects. A year ago, the Regis- 
ter of Deeds in Wilson County discovered that some record books, 
recorded a number of years ago by photostatic process, were fading 
rapidly because of faulty processing. These record books were micro- 
filmed to preserve them before they faded out completely. A some- 
what similar problem developed in Bertie County, where, several 
years ago, a commercial company had been employed to repair pages 
of a number of old deed and will books. Sheets of some transparent 
substance were glued to each side of the pages in an effort to prevent 
further deterioration and loss. Through the years, the glue became 
darker and darker until eventually the text could no longer be read. 
Fortunately, the Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-Day Saints had microfilmed these books before the unsatisfac- 
tory attempt was made to repair them. The Department is obtaining 
page prints of affected pages, and is restoring the volumes by lamina- 
tion and binding. Just imagine what would have happened without 
this help. 

Finally, let's take a look at what is now going on in each county as a 
result of the program to microfilm permanent records begun two years 
ago. 

First, Department personnel contact the board of county commis- 
sioners, to explain the program. 

Second, they inventory records in every office in the courthouse, list- 
ing records by title, dates, quantity, and location. To this is added a 
schedule, indicating how long records are to be preserved, whether 
permanently or for a specified number of years. This inventory-sche- 
dule is mimeographed, assembled into a volume, and distributed to 
all interested officials. By following the schedule, county officials can 
insure preservation of essential records, timely disposal of nonessential 
records, and economy in space and office operation. Moreover, trans- 
fer of records of no administrative value, but of historical value, to the 



172 



The North Carolina Historical Review 




The local records program involves the following steps: (1) the inventorying and 
scheduling of all records of the county; (2) the repair and reminding of deteriorating 
records of permanent value; (3) the microfilming for security of records of permanent 
value; and (4) the transfer to the State Archives of permanent records that are not 
needed in the administration of the county. 

The above photos illustrate steps 2 and 3. In upper left is shown a Cameraman from 
the Department of Archives and History microfilming the deed books in a county 
courthouse. At upper right, a member of the Department's laminating staff is disas- 
sembling a badly worn deed book in preparation for laminating. At lower left the 
leaves of the book, after having been treated with chemicals for the removal of acids, 
is being "sandwiched" between sheets of acetate and tissue. Finally, at lower right, 
the "sandwiches" are being run through the Barrow Laminator. The pages are then 
reassembled and rebound, thus resulting in preserving the record for posterity. 



The Local Records Program 173 

State Archives here in Raleigh makes these records more accessible to 
historians and researchers. 

Third, permanent records in need of repair are restored by lamina- 
tion and rebinding. 

Finally, all permanent records are microfilmed. Negatives are stored 
in security files in the State Archives. Positive copies are catalogued in 
the search room, and put in cabinets in the microfilm reading room for 
reference purposes. 

The advantages are obvious, to the counties as well as to the public. 
Little wonder that county officials— county commissioners, registers 
of deeds, clerks of court and others— strongly support our Department 
of Archives and History. The programs, moreover, deserve the support 
of the public, who are the ultimate beneficiaries. 

Of course, some problems have developed. They always do. And 
yet, the problems that have developed are surprisingly few in number, 
and quite low in their intensity. 

In spite of the help available, there has been some lack of interest, 
particularly in records destruction and records management. All of 
you, I am sure, are aware of the traditional reluctance of many custo- 
dians of records to destroy anything. The amazing thing, I suppose, is 
that so much useless material has been disposed of or destroyed. Time, 
of course, is overcoming this lack of interest, because all counties are 
running into problems, some of one kind and some of another. Space 
itself may be the greatest stimulus to interest, because sooner or later 
all counties run into space problems. As the interest increases, and the 
examples of successful projects mount, the lack of interest is declining 
substantially. Those of you with historical interests can help, because 
good records programs mean that records of historical value will be 
preserved and available. 

These State-assistance programs ran into opposition from one indi- 
vidual. He served notice on the Department that he would oppose the 
efforts to expand the programs and the authority of the Department, 
and he served notice on his fellow county officials at the same time. 
Interestingly enough, his opposition never really got to the General 
Assembly, because the legislator from his county, with years of experi- 
ence at all governmental levels, immediately saw the value of the pro- 
posed programs. Incidentally, the formerly hostile individual is no 
longer actively opposing the Department's programs. 

Some additional problems will arise in the future. The Department 
is, after all, dealing with a thousand or more local officials, and it will 
be surprising if problems do not develop. But we are building such a 



174 The North Carolina Historical Review 

solid base of satisfactory experience in State-county co-operation that 
dealing with problems will present little or no difficulty. 

Let me conclude by emphasizing, once again, that the Department 
of Archives and History is providing a tremendous service to counties, 
and through counties to people whose lives and property are affected 
by records and to people interested in their historical value. 

You can help too. By understanding the need for a sound records 
program in counties and municipalities; by supporting the Department 
and the counties in their efforts to protect and preserve essential rec- 
ords; you can help make sure that the records you are interested in will 
end up where they ought to be— preserved and available. 



A LAND MORE LARGE THAN EARTH 
By Bernice Kelly Harris* 

"To find a land . . . more large than earth," Thomas Wolfe wrote not 
long before his death in 1938. "Though winning near the goal—yet, 
do not grieve," the poet bade the Attic youth, forever panting in 
pursuit of fair objective. "What a beautiful view," Alan Shepard said 
of Earth on May 5, 1961, as he left it for outer space. 

Life continues to be quest. Literature and history record the quest 
for truth on many levels. Beyond the pursuit of beauty in dales of 
Arcady or of stars by Astronauts, the search for largeness is man's 
creative contribution, the basic intent of his culture. The poet and the 
space-explorer, along with mankind in general, could find ugliness and 
futility in a close-range view of earth this December, 1961. But the 
continuity of pursuit of that land envisioned by Thomas Wolfe has its 
own beauty and largeness beyond material winning or loss. As illum- 
inated in the tales and traditions of man, in his mores and beliefs, his 
history and literature the search for "a land more large" reflects the 
spiritual content of his effort, cumulatively impressive and worthy to 
be continued. 

Today's exponents of this cultural continuity have a responsibility 
to clarify anew the identity of the searcher in this space age, to refuse 
to package his search under shopworn labels and slogans or to lose it 
amid automation and megatons. There is need for affirmation of man's 
individuality and its austere relation to a largeness in culture. Too 
often now attainment is defined in terms of personal comfort, amuse- 
ment, mass-getting and consuming without relation to the context of 
creative existence. 

In this context identity is not status. The man who declared he was 
concerned not about what he voted for, but only in being a voting man 
was confusing identity with symbols. Status symbols are, indeed, con- 
fusing. It appears they are currently extending beyond citizenship 
privileges, education and income to include nonfiction reading, along 

* Mrs. Harris, who resides in Seaboard, is the author of a number of novels and 
plays with a North Carolina setting and was the first woman to win the Mayflower 
Cup. This article was presented as her presidential address at the dinner meeting 
of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association on December 1, 1961. 



176 The North Carolina Historical Review 

with labels worn and ties with tradition sometimes anachronistic in 
impact. A certain homeowner, for instance, packaged his identity with 
the historical past by installing outside his split-level, all-electric resi- 
dence two flickering gaslights such as were used in another century. 
Identity beyond any symbols displayed means everything a person is. 
When individuality and individual worth are left out of the concept, 
the search for a largeness will waver more unsteadily than those gas- 
lights that flickered outside the electrically equipped residence of the 
status seeker. 

Within the framework of cultural continuity there is the respon- 
sibility individually and in mass to stem the current tendency of pre- 
senting life in packages, of selling fun and good living and intrinsic 
values by creating images rather than by projecting the reality. To 
mass appeal an emotional response, not based on fact or reason, is 
sought by the image cultists. Sometimes they even sell children the 
impression that instruction is supposed to be fun. (It is to be hoped 
that this illusion will not extend to quality education. ) Young people 
are encouraged to study and do well because it is fun. It is fun to 
join civic and religious groups. So the image of youth laughing and 
playing its way to education and citizenship here and hereafter is 
created. 

Political candidates and commercial products likewise are often 
sold on the images they present rather than on their record. Tainted 
with untruth are the images of the man of distinction; the double-good 
twins who symbolize the real joy of good living if consumers move up 
to a certain brand of chewing gum; of the bright wash that solves the 
complexities of family life if a certain kind of soap powder is used; 
of a great white father beaming from a national armchair or of a school- 
boy President standing before Schoolmaster Uncle Sam who is seated 
in a rocking chair made in North Carolina. 

It is estimated that nine billion dollars a year can be counted on 
from the youth market alone. In the package, crowding the whole- 
some products, there are horror films, psychopathic thrillers, fast-draw 
gunmen, sirens and Lotharios, pornography and comic books reputed 
to have sold in one year four times the budgets of all public libraries, 
profane bums and angry young men who tell off the world from their 
lazy lounge chairs, but do nothing to help set it right. 

If the level of taste is one measure of a culture, these trends un- 
checked portend a taint upon its largeness. The taint touches literature. 
Not many years ago one of the best-known New York publishers ran 
book ads in the New York Herald-Tribune that were like Burma-shave 



A Land More Large than Earth 177 

jingles, only less clever. One was: "The world is moving along so fast, 
It's out of the safety zone, The age of the atom is here at last, But 
Sex is still holding its own." Another, with a sly leer in the lines, was: 
"An evening of pleasure—! The recipe? That best-selling novel [The 
name of the novel in which Sex was still holding its own was added] , 
College professors, critics too, Read it in secret, Why don't you?" De- 
gradation is even packaged in literary form, at least in some of the 
tell-all books designed for mass appeal rather than for any kind of 
catharsis of self or society. 

Even Deity is offered in a package. He is a chum, a buddy, the man 
upstairs who is ever ready to do a pal a favor, but who never says 
Thou-shalt-not. (It is modish to go back to past centuries for gas- 
lights, but not for moral imperatives. ) Outgrown as buddy or as cosmic 
Personality, Deity is packaged under space age labels as Energy. 

Survival of the human race may become packaged. The insidious 
image of family fall-out shelters, mounted with machine guns or 
equipped with small arms, could be projected by the hard-sell cult. 
The slogan could be: A family split-level fall-out shelter beside every 
swimming pool or a cut-rate package for only $499. The image of 
this kind of survival tends to invalidate the community sense and the 
moral imperatives of civilization. 

Out of the package often come insecurity, lawlessness, a sense of 
futility or a stultifying uniformity that turns potential searchers of a 
largeness into status seekers. The rhythms of living are set to theme 
songs and slogans. Have-gun-will-travel is modified to replace self- 
reliance with multitudinous props. "What do I get out of it?" becomes 
the response to challenges. "Gimme-gimme-gimme" becomes baby's 
lullaby and "I Want To Be Evil," the American song export to the 
court of her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. 

In the scope of marketable images and easy slogans there is little 
coherent sense of the real self in its relation to creative direction. A 
character in a play expressed it thus: "I don't know what I want, and 
I wouldn't want it if I did." So the cultists resonate but do not reason, 
do not come to terms with reality. 

(Parenthetically, this is not to suggest that traditional culture is in 
a tailspin, not with agencies such as have met in Raleigh this week 
steering toward a "land more large." Melody gives way to agony 
singing, the dance to the Twist, "I Want To Be True" to "I Want To 
Be Evil." Beauty-is-truth is translated into measurements, 34-24-36. 
Happy endings provoke discontent. One girl complained when she left 
the picture show, "There are no happy endings any more. Every 



178 The North Carolina Historical Review 

picture I've seen lately winds up with the couple getting married and 
living happy ever afterward." Alas! While these do portend crash 
landings, they indicate the cultural gyroscope may need adjustment. ) 

The trends that negate basic values must be rejected, the reality be- 
hind the image must be affirmed and first reverence be given to a 
Reality greater than physical Energy. As has been stated, the best 
defense of nations, in time, has proved to be a people worthy of de- 
fense. Force and Bigness are not the authoritative finality that com- 
mands the spirit of man or evokes his worship. There is the awesome 
beyond the marvels of technology. There is the continuing miracle of 
infinitesimal seed evolving into sustaining plants, of zygotes into living 
beings, of humanity's aspirations into books and paintings and music 
and legislation. 

The intimations of cosmic vastness command wonder and awe and 
quest. But man remains a frontier, a cosmos to explore, "a land more 
large than earth" in his spiritual potentialities. To break the barriers 
that keep him from realizing his identity and from understanding and 
respecting identities of persons on this planet is comparable in its 
urgency to breaking the sound barrier. 

There is challenging mystery in mankind. Man has areas unexplored 
and perhaps as unexplorable as space. For all the little petulancies, 
the shabby motivations, the relentless striving after pelf and power, 
there is in humanity the spark of a largeness harmonious to creative 
purpose. 

The largeness is based on enduring values and their orderly relation 
to the individual. A sense of identity will come from a conviction about 
what is right and wrong and from the exercise of good choices. Good 
and evil are not X, Y, Z. They are essentially known through ancient 
answers still apposite to present complexities. Reverence for these 
known realities and for the reality of revelation, recognition of human 
dignity even among the lowliest, respect for the laws of man, tolerance 
—intolerance, too, as against profanation of principle— justice, compas- 
sion, courage, truth are as timely and powerful ultimates as megatons. 

They are validated in human beings, not in machines. To search 
for "a land more large" is to go, figuratively, on a safari among people 
and to encompass them in a creative understanding. It is to perceive 
the spiritual elevation inherent in common humanity, to help modify 
the urgencies of people in life and in literature to demand the truth 
about the human experience without caricature or distortion or propa- 
ganda. 



A Land More Large than Earth 179 

Some of yesterday's urgencies have been modified by mechanization 
and industrialization. But human problems and exigencies remain. 
Technology for all its marvels has not yet solved unemployment and 
substandard housing in eastern North Carolina or in Djakarta, In- 
donesia; has not solved earth's over-population and surpluses and 
starvation and next spring's rains. 

The proximate view as against Alan Shepard's would reveal much 
that is alien to largeness. It would also reveal beauty amid starkness, 
beauty among the Nez Perce Indians, up and down King Street in 
Asheville or high on a hill. Persons along the little roads project 
humanity as truly as George Apley of Boston or Franny and Zooey of 
New York. Wretchedness is evident in village and Gotham. Yet, jollity 
and good humor even amid starkness, tenderness and decency are 
the human story too. Human dignity is in its drama, and the triumph 
of the human spirit is its catastasis. 

There was the hopelessly wretched tenant farm woman along a 
North Carolina byway who, after the recital of her incredible miseries 
one winter day, lifted her head and cried: "But you just wait till the 
turkle crawls again, and I'll be out there a-trying. Me and the turkle 
will crawl again." 

There was the old lady along a North Carolina road who at seventy- 
five started attending an adult illiteracy class to learn to read. And with 
what creative identification she stood out in the floor and read the 
Psalmist's testimony that he had been brought to a large place. 

There was the penniless little Northampton woman who on foot 
over a ten-mile range peddled vegetables from her garden and berries 
from the briar patches. When evicted because she could no longer 
pay rent on her cabin, she set up housekeeping under the open sky 
alongside the highway near town and there held Open House more 
memorable than those under social datelines. 

There was the very old man of ninety-seven who, when chided for 
doing a chore beyond his strength and assured it would be attended 
to for him, retorted: "Yes, but I've got a walking stick, and you 
haven't!" 

There was the farm tenant in eastern North Carolina who had only 
$4.90 left at settlement time to live on, whose house was crumbling 
around him, whose wife was endlessly "tired and hurting," whose high 
school son against any possibility of fulfillment looked forward some 
day to being a Carolina Playmaker at Chapel Hill. Together they 
sang about "home, sweet home," accompanying themselves on a broken 
organ and a banjo with two strings. 



180 The North Carolina Historical Review 

There was the deformed hunchback who had to lie across a chair 
to make baskets and ferneries and lamps. Yet at forty he counted 
himself lucky because he could crawl around the house, fill his orders 
for baskets and after worktime sing a "mean bass." Nematodes, in 
literary culture? 

The turtle crawls again. The homeless hold Open House. The centen- 
arian defies the uselessness of old age with his walking stick. The de- 
formed cripple sings a "mean bass" after worktime. The landless trans- 
late their aspirations into title deeds to pass on from heir to heir and 
into white steeples to worship under. The Lady of the manor sits on 
a lonesome porch. Sis Goose, no less of animal fair than human, 
keeps her lonely vigil, steadfast to the faith that Cudin Flying Squirrel 
was less of earth than heaven. The scholar, tracing literary growth, 
finds nematodes in his garden of poetry signify. The Lost Colonists 
walk in annual reclamation. They are the human story. In them is 
validated the search for a largeness. 

On this December 1, 1961, it is surely the will of the North Carolina 
Literary and Historical Association to say to the Ultimate Reality of 
the Judean poet, "Bring us to a large place." 



THE SOUTH ON THE EVE OF THE CIVIL WAR 

By Lenoir Chambers* 

If we had all been in the capital of the Confederacy a hundred years 
ago this evening, we should have agreed with the historian of that 
beleaguered city who recorded that "the autumn of 1861 was long and 
fine . . . : sparkling days warmed by brilliant sunshine and evenings so 
mild that ladies whose friendships had begun when their husbands 
held congressional or official posts in the old days at Washington sat 
chatting on the steps of their hotels by the light of the gas street- 
lamps." 

The Richmond of 40,000 people was full of soldiers, coming and go- 
ing. The summer had been full of fears about the unknown. June had 
brought good news from Bethel on the Lower Peninsula, but signs 
from the States west of the Blue Ridge were different. First Manassas 
in July created the first great excitement and exultation, but once again 
news from the West, in present West Virginia, dulled the edge of this 
achievement for those willing to realize it. 

Thereafter the pace of the war seemed to slow down. Good news 
came in from Missouri in August, bad news the same month from 
Hatteras on the North Carolina coast. In October the occupation of 
Port Royal in South Carolina disturbed the South Carolinians, but 
seemed a little remote in Richmond. It was pleasanter to think of the 
affair at Ball's Bluff on the Potomac above Washington. 

By November people were living in a lull. McClellan was organizing 
an army somewhere near Washington, but he showed no sign of move- 
ment. No serious threat was visible anywhere else. "The enemy," our 
historian of Richmond wrote down, "had been driven away . . . Rich- 
mond drew a long breath and turned with alacrity to enjoying itself." 

The city had new reasons to do so. The Davises had moved in July 
from their early weeks in the Spotswood Hotel into the Brockenbrough 
mansion at Clay and Twelfth Streets, and a White House of the Con- 
federacy was not only in being: it was also the scene of pleasant social 
events that set a pace for the city. 

* Mr. Chambers, who recently retired as Editor of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, is 
the author of a two-volume biography of Stonewall Jackson. This paper was pre- 
sented at the evening session of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Associa- 
tion, December 1, 1961. 



182 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Old Richmond sometimes looked askance at New Confederacy, but 
sometimes there were two sides to diat. Old South Carolina, well rep- 
resented in the new capital (some people said overly-represented), had 
its own opinion of personalities and manners too. There were affairs 
at the outposts, it is true, and the Dead March in Saul could be heard 
at the funerals, and once heard was never forgotten. But the casualties 
were still few. The economy was looking up. The blockade was not 
yet effective, and the ships that came through often carried more 
luxury items than military supplies. War was stimulating Richmond 
industry. The stores had goods and sold them. The dinners in high 
places that the diaries tell us about were imperial. Inflation had not 
really begun to take its bite. Richmond was enjoying a boom. 

So it was on the surface this moment a century ago. But the surface 
could not really conceal all. The government was beginning to creak 
at its joints. Mr. Davis, who had been almost sacrosanct at first, was 
feeling the barbs of political criticism and backstairs gossip as well as 
the broadsides of part of the press. The Vice-President, Mr. Stephens, 
was unhappy in Richmond and not much happier in Georgia. Mr. 
Toombs had given up the Secretary of State portfolio, and Mr. Hunter 
was struggling with it. He would not last long. Mr. Walker had re- 
signed as Secretary of War, under heavy pressure from the President, 
and Mr. Benjamin had come in from the Justice Department to succeed 
him; he would not last long either. The War Department was to see 
six secretaries before the war ran out, more than any other cabinet 
post, and the reason, in the sharp judgment of one critic, was that, 
paradoxically, that department never had any secretary of war— Mr. 
Davis was always secretary of war, he said, and the secretaries were 
clerks. 

Logistically, the government was learning that something more 
was needed to fight a modern war against an emerging industrial state 
than the elan that is inherent in a revolutionarv movement. Enormous 
development, enormous improvisation, would be necessary to over- 
come the South's economic deficiencies. 

Nor had commanders in the field turned out quite as hoped. 
Beauregard, a hero after Sumter, had become a demi-god after First 
Manassas, and enough glory spread out to endow Johnston's name. 
But neither got along with Davis, nor Davis with them; and Beaure- 
gard went West until late in the war, and Johnston faced a bad winter 
and a worse spring. 

Lee had tried to co-ordinate two armies in western Virginia and 
had not succeeded. He was along the South Carolina and Georgia 



South on the Eve of the Civil War 183 

coasts now, looking after defenses. He seemed far from the center 
of the picture. Jackson had not emerged, though some people remem- 
bered events on the Henry House hill at First Manassas. Nor had 
Longstreet risen high. Nor had Stuart. 

It was clear now that Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri would not 
join the Confederacy. The West had seen no major collisions, and 
there was hope that Albert Sidney Johnston could deal adequately with 
the enemy when there were. But Forts Henry and Donelson were just 
around the corner of the winter, and Shiloh and New Orleans would 
darken next April. 

The British were not in a responsive mood, and people were not 
so sure now that cotton would bring Western Europe to taw. Among 
men who thought hard the signs of a long and perhaps desperate 
struggle were disturbing. 

Davis had thought so all along. As early as June 28 of this year, 
that extraordinary woman, Mary Boykin Chesnut, in her superb social 
document, A Diary from Dixie, had written these memorable words: 

In Mrs. Davis's drawing-room last night, the President took a seat by 
me on the sofa where I sat. He talked for nearly an hour. He laughed at 
our faith in our own prowess. We are like the British; we think every 
Southerner equal to three Yankees at least, but we will have to be equiva- 
lent to a dozen now. . . . Mr. Davis believes that we will do all that can 
be done by pluck and muscle, endurance and dogged courage, dash and 
red-hot enthusiasm, and yet his tone was not sanguine. There was a sad 
refrain running through it. For one thing, either way, he thinks it will 
be a long war. That floored me at once. It has been too long for me 
already. Then he said that before the end we would have many a bitter 
experience. He said only fools doubted the courage of the Yankees, or 
their willingness to fight when they saw fit. And now we have stung 
their pride, we have roused them till they will fight like devils. 

Thus the President of the Confederate States of America to a good 
friend on June 27, 1861. And now, by the calendar we are observing, 
it is December of that first year of the war. The conflict is six months 
old; and perhaps more people than the surface gaiety might suggest 
were thinking the long, hard thoughts of people in trouble. At the 
very least this was not going to be easy. 

How had the southern States got themselves into this difficult situa- 
tion? If we could shift our calendar a year earlier to one hundred and 
one years ago tonight— December 1, 1860— we should find ourselves 
three and a half weeks after the most significant presidential election 
in American history, before or since. Probably we could have foreseen 
the election of Lincoln and Hamlin and the rout of the two badly 



184 The North Carolina Historical Review 

divided Democratic tickets, the Douglas-Johnson ticket and the 
Breckinridge-Lane ticket, and of the Bell-Everett ticket of the Whigs 
and the Know-Nothings. 

For the first time since the division of thought within the United 
States had seemed to be approaching what William H. Seward called 
an "irrepressible conflict," the South, the States' Rights philosophers, 
the Cotton Kingdom, the Slave Power politicians— call them what you 
will— had lost control of their destiny. For the first time a political 
party founded on the doctrine of a firm attitude toward the "peculiar 
institution" of the South was in the saddle. We might have foreseen 
something more. We should hardly have been surprised that three days 
after the election the General Assembly of South Carolina— which . 
continued in session before, during, and after the election, and did 
so by deliberate intent— called for a constitutional convention. The 
formal purpose was "to consider the dangers incident upon the position 
of the state in the Federal Union." The meaning of the words was not 
in doubt. 

Six weeks ago (by our calendar of one hundred and one years ago) 
a group of South Carolina officials, including all but two of the State's 
congressional delegation, had agreed that secession should be the 
State's action if Lincoln was elected. The followers of Robert Barnwell 
Rhett had been looking toward an immediate constitutional convention 
in order to carry the State out of the Union while resentment was still 
at its height if Lincoln was elected. Porcher Miles, the Congressman, 
and a Secessionist of influence, had said specifically that he hoped 
the State would act swiftly and with a minimum of talk if Lincoln 
was elected. Governor Francis W. Pickens declared that Lincoln had 
run "upon issues of malignant hostility and uncompromising war to 
be waged upon the rights, the interests, and the peace of half the states 
of the Union." Such a moderate as James L. Orr— who was badly de- 
feated because he was a moderate when he ran for election as a dele- 
gate in the constitutional convention— had said last August that "no 
Black Republican president [should] ever execute any law within our 
borders unless at the point of the bayonet and over the dead bodies 
of . . . [our] slain sons." 

The mood of South Carolina was not in doubt a hundred and one 
years ago tonight. 

On December 20, three weeks from tonight, by our calendar of one 
hundred and one years ago, the South Carolina constitutional conven- 
tion will vote unanimously— 169 to 0— to repeal the State's action of 
May 23, 1788, by which the Constitution of the United States had been 



South on the Eve of the Civil War 185 

ratified. It will declare "that the Union now subsisting between South 
Carolina and other states, under the name of 'The United States of 
America/ is hereby dissolved." Thus, South Carolina reasoned, it will 
place itself in its original position of individual State sovereignty and 
become therefore a sovereign State. 

Twenty days will pass before any other State acts. Then from 
January 9 through February 1 of 1861, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, 
Georgia, and Louisiana, in this order, will vote in convention to secede 
from the Union, and Texas will do so by popular vote. 

But then, as we know now, the movement stopped. It was not until 
April 17 of 1861 that Virginia voted to secede. North Carolina and 
Arkansas followed in May, Tennessee in June; and these four decisions 
did not come until after, and as a result of, Lincoln's call for volunteers 
after the bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter. 

The secession movement extended thus for six months, from Decem- 
ber to June; from South Carolina the first to Tennessee the last; from 
a period of peace while Buchanan was still in the White House to a 
time when young men in uniform were dying in agony and First 
Manassas was only a month away. 

These conditions suggest that the term "the South" is deficient in 
important respects. Obviously, when the issue came to secession there 
were at least three Souths. 

First, the South of the seven States which seceded in the first six 
weeks after Lincoln's election. 

Second, the South of the four States, stretched like a band across 
the top of these seven States—that is, Virginia and North Carolina, 
then Tennessee, which borders on both, and then Arkansas, which 
geographically is a western extension of Tennessee. All of these waited 
five to seven months after Lincoln's election before seceding. 

And, third, a still more northerly band of States, part southern, part 
northern, which did not secede at all: Delaware, Maryland, the western 
counties of Virginia, which formed West Virginia, and then Kentucky 
and Missouri. 

As we look at the South on the eve of the Civil War, we see not only 
that there were many Souths: there were many southerners. Not only 
were there clashes of opinion and political philosophy and economic 
interest between the North and the South: there was also a long series 
of differences, divisions, and clashes within the people of the South. 

In this struggle for the mind of the people of the southern States, the 
best-known leaders, in the period with which we are concerned, were 
obviously the immediate winners, the ones whose views prevailed. 



186 The North Carolina Historical Review 

They were the men under whose leadership the southern States 
evolved, refined, and toughened their States' Rights philosophy, and 
in the end put it to the test. 

But it is not fair or accurate to set them apart as the only extremists 
in the land. Many parts of the North, notably New England, did not 
lack for counterparts. The heat in the hills of the one could be just as 
hot as— sometimes hotter than— the heat in the bayous of the others. 
Before Sumter there was no action from the South that matched, in 
purpose or ultimate effect, John Brown's raid from the North. 

It is probable, therefore, that most people in the North, as they 
looked toward the South, would have thought principally of men like 
South Carolina's Robert Barnwell Rhett and his family's Charleston 
Mercury; or Alabama's William L. Yancey, the most persuasive man 
on a platform in his region; or Louisiana's Rev. Dr. Benjamin M. 
Palmer, who sought to equate slavery with Christianity; or Georgia's 
Howell Cobb and Joseph E. Brown, the latter a war governor whose 
insistence on his State's rights, as he defined them, proved an embar- 
rassment to the Confederacy's central government; or Texas' Louis T. 
Wigfall, who prevailed over Texas' Sam Houston; or Virginia's Ed- 
mund Ruffin, who smuggled his way into the ranks of the Virginia 
Militarv Institute cadets at Charlestown in order to see John Brown 
handed, who was to pull the lanyard on one of the first guns— perhaps 
the first eun— that fired on Fort Sumter, and who after Appomattox 
blew his brains out rather than face the new order; or Florida's Gov- 
ernor Madison S. Perry, who told South Carolina's Governor William 
H. Gist back in October that Florida would follow any other State that 
seceded; and, of course, the ghosts of Tohn C. Calhoun and Robert Y. 
Hayne and what some people might have called the evil spirit of 
Preston Brooks— not to mention the sinister figure of Simon Legree. 

For when the southern States had gone into secession, especially 
the first seven under the leadership of such men, they seemed to be 
animated by an almost universal spirit, sometimes bv an almost unani- 
mous public opinion, and in the end by an all-southern support. It is 
this picture of the South to which I direct especially your attention this 
evening. For in some important respects it is not true. 

It is not true even in South Carolina and even despite the unanimous 
vote by which South Carolina's constitutional convention decided to 
secede. The official action of the delegates conformed to the views of 
most of the State's political leadership, and most of the people's con- 
victions. South Carolina had attempted nullification as early as 1832. 
It was the spearhead of States' Rights-ism. It had long contemplated 
and frequently discussed secession as a possibility. 



South on the Eve of the Civil War 187 

But this state of mind does not mean that no moderate men lived 
in South Carolina. James L. Orr tried long to work out arrangements 
for protecting southern "rights" within the Democratic Party. Ben- 
jamin F. Perry struggled for years to bring his State more in line with 
national thinking. Christopher G. Memminger, later Secretary of the 
Treasury in the Confederate cabinet, was not regarded by secession- 
ists as one of them. Chief Justice John B. O'Neall pleaded for delay to 
see whether Lincoln actually injured southern interests. As late as 
1860 Senators James H. Hammond and James Chesnut, Jr., were un- 
willing to climb on the secession bandwagon. Rhett said that the South 
Carolina delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Charles- 
ton in April, 1860, was largely "conservative"— though a good deal 
depends on the definition of that word— and had no intention of walk- 
ing out of the convention when it reached that city. 

Other relatively unknown men and such well knowns as Charleston's 
heroic James L. Petigru, that man of "antique virtue," who never 
espoused the cause of secession and yet was allowed to live untouched 
in his city, attest the existence of an appreciable— though in the end 
completely ineffective— minority. 

In every other southern State the minority was stronger. Mississippi 
debated throughout November and December on the merits of seces- 
sion as opposed to "co-operation"— co-operation, that is, with other 
southern States in contrast to single-State action. Mississippi "conserva- 
tives" denounced secession as "a surrender of Southern rights, a 
cowardly fleeing from the enemy, and an abandonment of sound con- 
stitutional positions." 

Only 60 per cent of those who had voted in the presidential election 
of November 6 voted for delegates to the constitutional convention, 
and the vote was not overwhelming. It was (in the opinion of one 
historian) "close enough to leave considerable doubt as to the true 
attitude of the people of Mississippi." Jefferson Davis believed in the 
principle but did not lead— far from it— in the practical secession 
movement. 

But every moment the convention itself continued, the pressures for 
secession grew stronger. A motion to submit the issue to popular vote 
lost by 70 to 29. With that decided, secession itself won by 85 to 15. 

In Florida, the third seceding State, Governor Perry had favored 
secession in event of Lincoln's election as far back as October, as we 
have seen. But Senators David L. Yulee and Stephen R. Mallory (who 
later was the Confederacy's Secretary of the Navy) were more con- 
servative. Though the State legislators pushed straight ahead, some 



188 The North Carolina Historical Review 

evidence indicates that perhaps a third of the members were conserva- 
tively inclined. In the subsequent constitutional convention the co- 
operationist strength has been put at from 36 to 43 per cent. A motion 
to delay action on secession lost by 43 to 24. Another move to suspend 
action until Georgia and Alabama had acted lost by a narrow margin- 
five votes would have changed the result. In the end secession carried 
with only seven opposing delegates. But obviously there was a 
minority. 

In Alabama the campaign for delegates to a constitutional con- 
vention has been called "one of the bitterest campaigns in the history 
of the state." Yet the vote for the election of delegates was only 75 
per cent of the vote in the November election. The elected delegates 
were divided 54 for secession, 46 for delay— although Alabama knew 
that South Carolina had already seceded and although the Alabama 
government had already seized Federal forts in the State. 

In the constitutional convention the drive for immediate action 
gained strength daily, led by Yancey; and in the end the vote to secede 
was 60 to 39— approximately the proportion of three to two. The con- 
trast to South Carolina's unanimity is striking. 

In Georgia there had been a strong conservative school of thought 
since 1850. Robert Toombs and Howell Cobb had once belonged to 
this school, but in later periods they favored more direct action. 
Alexander H. Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederate States 
later; Herschel V. Johnson, vice-presidential candidate on the Douglas 
ticket in 1860; and Benjamin H. Hill were respected men of influence 
who stood for the concept of the Union, or at least for "sober delibera- 
tion." In practical politics Governor Joseph E. Brown was stronger 
than any of these. He addressed a message to the legislature recom- 
mending secession if Lincoln should be elected. After Lincoln's election 
the legislature called in various recognized leaders for advice, in a 
kind of public hearing, and contrasting views were freely presented. 
The legislators refused to act, although under pressure to do so, but 
called a constitutional convention. 

In the election for delegates to the convention the popular vote was 
50,243 for secession delegates, 37,123 for a vague coalition of co- 
operationists and varying types of Unionists. 

In the convention itself, after a bitter debate on the merits of two 
resolutions, one for secession, the other calling for a convention of 
southern States, the count was for secession by 166 to 130— effective, 
but no landslide. By the time the ordinance of secession was reported, 
this vote had shifted to 208 to 89 for the ordinance. In the end only 



South on the Eve of the Civil War 189 

six delegates refrained from signing the ordinance. Still, it had been a 

fight. 

Louisiana, the next State to secede, had a name for Unionist senti- 
ment, and for specific reasons. The Mississippi River connected the 
State to northern and northwestern regions by direct commercial ties 
which some other southern States did not have in like degree. The 
protective tariff which South Carolina condemned had positive benefits 
for Louisiana's sugar. Whig influence, in the years of that party's 
affluence, had been strong. John Slidell, perhaps the most respected 
political leader in Louisiana, leaned toward Unionism. In the Novem- 
ber presidential election— the one held three and a half weeks ago, I 
remind you again, if you can continue to transplant yourselves a 
hundred and one years backward— the Deep South's candidate, Breck- 
inridge, polled fewer votes in Louisiana than the moderate Douglas 
and Bell combined. 

These influences weakened after Lincoln's election. They weakened 
perceptibly after the entry into public discussion of a group of clergy- 
men, preaching Dr. Palmer's doctrine of "Slavery a Divine Trust." In 
the election of delegates the secession forces polled 22,448 and the 
co-operation coalition 17,296. In the convention this secessionist 
strength beat off efforts for delay or more co-operation with other 
southern States and adopted the ordinance of secession. 

"At the time, and since," that distinguished Louisianian, Richard 
Taylor— a delegate there and a fine officer in the Confederate Army 
later— wrote in his Destruction and Reconstruction, "I marveled at the 
joyous and careless temper in which men, much my superiors in 
sagacity and experience, consummated these acts," and "laughed to 
scorn" any mention of difficulties ahead, or ascribed their mention to 
"timidity and treachery." 

In Texas, the last of the seven to secede, the struggle was more 
complicated than in most other States, being involved with the com- 
plaint of Texans against the Union for lack of frontier protection 
against Indian raids. Sam Houston was a stout Union man, and although 
he lost out as governor in 1857 he was back in 1859. The John Brown 
raid at Harper's Ferry shook Texas, as it did the whole South, but 
Houston fought hard against radical action. He refused to call the 
legislature into session, maneuvered this way and that, and spiritually 
never did give in. 

In the end the secessionist influence prevailed in a popular vote of 
46,000 to 14,000, but again, and significantly, only after a struggle. 

What emerges from this brief review of the first seven seceding 



190 The North Carolina Historical Review 

States? First of all, the fact of secession stands out, bold and un- 
precedented. Nothing in the record compares with the stark political 
reality of secession. 

But second only to secession itself are the clearly demonstrable 
uncertainties, doubts, and outright resistance to secession in every 
one of the seven, less in South Carolina than in the others, but em- 
phatically in the others, and for a substantial time seemingly almost 
equal in political strength to the secessionist forces. 

In State after State trie secessionist movement was the cause of the 
dominant politicians and their political organizations. Had there been 
a positive and united resistance from the non-political elements of the 
population in some of these States, it might well have had its influence 
on the political leadership. Such a resistance to secession did not make 
itself effective. It was not united. It was not specific in its objectives, 
which ranged all the way from second looking, more sober considera- 
tion, co-operation in various forms, to determined refusal to leave the 
Union. Resistance to secession was not professionally led. It did not 
enlist many hesitants who did not know what to do. Against the ex- 
pertly managed political forces that knew exactly what they wanted, 
this loose kind of coalition stood little chance. Perhaps it never had a 
chance. But that it existed there is no doubt. 

The picture accordingly is not one of swift and universal agreement. 
Careless, as well as confident, many of the hot-heads may have been, 
but they had a struggle all along the line. In State after State, it was 
only when emotionalism took hold, it was only when the bandwagon 
psychology took possession, it was only when the social pressures and 
the pleas for loyalty to friends and neighbors mounted, it was only 
when words and actions in the northern States made many men in the 
South fear the unknown possibilities from what they interpreted to be 
a hostile people— it was only in such circumstances that resistance to 
precipitate an unparalleled action in withdrawing from a greatly 
loved union collapsed, and the issues were decided. 

The record of resistance to secession in this crescent of seven States 
from South Carolina to Texas is, of course, less impressive than the 
record in the four other States that eventually joined them. 

Virginia had voted for the Bell-Everett ticket, not for Breckinridge 
and Lane. When the General Assembly met in January, Governor 
John A. Letcher's message reflected middle-ground thinking. Though 
he believed in the theory of secession, he opposed the calling of a 
constitutional convention. The legislators were more interested then 
in setting up a peace conference to bring together the Union govern- 



South on the Eve of the Civil War 191 

ment in Washington and the newly rising government to the south. But 
peace failures on the one hand, and pressures on the other, led 
eventually to the call for a convention. 

In the election more than 100,000 voters favored the requirement 
that any action by the convention be referred to the people, and only 
45,000 opposed doing so. Of the delegates elected, only 30 out of 152 
favored secession, and 122 opposed secession. 

Virginia wished very much to wait to see, and when a secession 
proposal came to a vote on April 4— a month after Lincoln had been 
inaugurated, and after the seven seceding States had already formed 
a government— the convention beat it by 88 to 45. 

But Sumter and Lincoln's call for volunteers brought matters to a 
head. Then, but only then, Virginia voted for secession, although even 
then the decision was only by 88 to 55. 

North Carolina had voted for Breckinridge and Lane, but only with 
48,539 votes against 44,990 for Bell and Everett. The General Assembly 
that met in November received from Governor John W. Ellis a recom- 
mendation for a constitutional convention and a conference of all 
southern States. But the legislators would have neither. 

Reassembling after Christmas of 1860, the legislators changed 
to the extent of approving a referendum on whether a convention 
should be called and simultaneously of electing delegates if a conven- 
tion was approved. But the voters turned down the proposal for a 
convention by a small margin, 47,323 to 46,672. Of the delegates 
chosen for a not-to-be-held convention, 42 favored secession, 78 favored 
the Union, conditionally or unconditionally, with the unconditionals 
stronger by nearly two to one. North Carolina, too, preferred to wait 
and see. But North Carolina had reversed its course when Sumter 
and the call for volunteers thundered the ancient question: "Under 
which king, Bezonian?" 

In Tennessee and Arkansas the story was in principle much the 
same. 

Arkansas showed little interest in secession before Lincoln's election. 
Then Governor Henry M. Rector, Senator Robert W. Johnson, and 
Representative Thomas C. Hindman led a campaign for seceding. The 
legislature was hesitant and uncertain. It waited until January and 
then authorized a referendum on whether a convention should be 
called. The convention won approval, but a majority of the delegates 
elected at the same time favored adherence to the Union or at least 
opposition to withdrawal. Ultimately, under heavy pressure, the legis- 
lators decided on a policy of co-operation, but with "border slave 



192 The North Carolina Historical Review 

states," not with the original seven seceding States, and postponed 
further decision until an election to be held in August. 

But Sumter and the call for troops violently altered the scene, and 
Arkansas took its place with the South. 

Finally, in Tennessee, where Union sentiment was strong, neither 
Lincoln's election nor the secession of neighbors to the south excited 
most people. Governor Isham Harris called the legislature into special 
session and asked for a convention. The legislators referred this ques- 
tion to the people. The people voted 68,282 to 59,449 against a con- 
vention and voted in the proportion of 91,803 to 27,749 for delegates 
with Union sympathies. 

But once again events outside the State changed Tennessee. After 
Sumter and the call for volunteers, and much else, for there were 
confusing issues here, Tennessee's judgment, as reflected by a vote of 
104,913 to 47,238, was for secession. 

The intensity of the struggle within these four States of Virginia, 
North Carolina, Arkansas, and Tennessee is unmistakable. It points 
clearly to the greater unwillingness to secede by States still farther to 
the north (which were influenced also by vigorous action from the 
North), and to the consequent cutting short of the secession movement 
at this line; and there is no need for further detail. 

It points— this struggle that I have been suggesting— to something 
more. On the eve of the Civil War all of the different Souths, far from 
plunging into combat with the joyful abandon of romanticists, wrestled 
with these problems they faced until the sweat ran out of their beings 
and they panted in their agony. The "joyous and careless temper" 
which Richard Taylor saw in control of the Louisiana convention is a 
fact of life, as well as a forerunner of death. But it is not the complete 
portrait of the South on the eve of war; it is not the portrayal of the 
South that was thinking hard though saying little, because it was per- 
plexed, and leaderless, and unable to make up its mind, and sure only 
that it did not want to rush into secession, much less into conflict. 

This was the more conservative South in 1860 and early 1861. It did 
not follow the Rhetts and Yancey s. It was deeply troubled, but it did 
not seek war, accept war gladly, or regard war as the remedy. Nor, 
when it could see no other choice, did it shrink from war. But under 
the storm and fury of political action was a vast unrepresented body 
of southerners whose testimony comes to us through the years in their 
personal, not their united— for they were not united— expressions. These 
were the southern conservatives whom Avery Craven, the University 
of Chicago historian, has described in his book, Civil War in the 
Making: 



South on the Eve of the Civil War 193 

There is no sadder story in all American history than that of the 
Southern conservatives in the final crisis. They probably constituted a 
majority against secession in the beginning but were too confused and 
divided to gain control. . . . Under such circumstances, the advantage was 
all with the smaller group of determined, exasperated radicals who now 
talked loudly of Southern rights and Republican threats. . . . They arro- 
gantly assumed that they alone stood for the honor, the interests, and 
the rights of the South. They hurled the charges of disloyalty, cowardice, 
and weakness against all who would not join their ranks. They called 
them Abolitionists and Northern sympathizers. 

Instead of fighting the common enemy, conservatives were thus forced 
to spend their energies defending themselves, explaining their position, 
and asserting their loyalty to the South. They steadily lost ground and 
number, and what was more important, they lost confidence in their own 
cause as radical Republican speeches came into print. Even fate was 
against them. 

Of these southern conservatives, out of countless men, I give you 
words from only two. One taught physics in a military institute. Look- 
ing at the actions and words of people in the North, he said: "It is 
painful to discover with what unconcern they speak of war and 
threaten it. They do not seem to know what its horrors are. I have had 
the opportunity of knowing enough on the subject to make me fear 
war as the sum of all evils." 

Looking around him at his own duties, he said—this was on Feb- 
ruary 2, 1861, after the first seven States had seceded: "I am much 
gratified to see a strong Union feeling in my portion of the state. . . . 
For my own part I intend to vote for the Union candidates for the 
[State] convention, and I desire to see every honorable means used 
for peace, and I believe that Providence will bless such means with 
the fruits of peace." 

That was Thomas Jonathan Jackson. 

The other witness I summon was a cavalry colonel. After the first 
six States had seceded, he wrote to his son on January 29, 1861: 

I can anticipate no greater calamity for the country than a dissolution 
of the Union. I am willing to sacrifice every thing but honour for its 
preservation. I hope therefore that all Constitutional means will be ex- 
hausted, before there is a resort to force. Secession is nothing but revolu- 
tion. The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labour, 
wisdom & forbearance in its formation & surrounded it with so many 
guards and securities, if it was intended to be broken by every member 
of the confederacy at will. It was intended for a pepetual [sic~\ union. . . . 
Still a union that can only be maintained by swords & bayonets, & in 
which strife and civil war are to take the place of brotherly love & kind- 



194 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ness, has no charm for me. ... If the Union is dissolved & the govern- 
ment disrupted, I shall return to my native State & share the miseries 
of my people & save in her defence will draw my sword on none. 

That was Robert Edward Lee. 

For those in the North or in the South who ( I quote Avery Craven 
again ) "had been pushed into a war that few wanted and no one could 
prevent," there is the consolation which many of them may not have 
known, but which history recognizes and honors— the consolation that 
comes from the way they bore themselves, the way they did their 
duty, the way they fought the war. And here, at my conclusion, I call 
to my side another witness, from another age, who at the moment was 
deeply involved in another war. 

The witness is Winston Churchill. The date is December 7, 1941. 
The testimony relates to his thoughts and feelings after he had heard 
all that Washington could tell him of the events of that historic day. 
This is how he thought and felt when he knew that the American 
people were going to war again: 

Silly people — and there were many, not only in enemy countries — might 
discount the force of the United States. Some said they were soft, others 
that they would never be united. They would fool around at a distance. 
They would never come to grips. They would never stand blood-letting. 
Their democracy and system of recurrent elections would paralyze their 
war effort. They would be just a vague blur on the horizon to friend or foe. 
Now we should see the weakness of this numerous but remote, wealthy, and 
talkative people. But I had studied the American Civil War, fought out to 
the last desperate inch. American blood flowed in my veins. I thought of a 
remark which Edward Grey had made to me more than thirty years before 
— that the United States is like "a gigantic boiler. Once fire is lighted 
under it there is no limit to the power it can generate." Being saturated 
and satiated with emotion and sensation, I went to bed and slept the 
sleep of the saved and thankful.* 

It was less easy a century ago to find the saved and thankful. It is 
less easy today. I do not pretend to know what faces today's generation 
of Americans. Their problems are extraordinarily complex. Their de- 
cisions may be even more important for them and for the world than 
the decisions of these earlier Americans whom we can see now standing 
in all their naked humanness before us. But my own conviction is that 
this generation of Americans today, if called upon to stand up to hard 
duty, will not be found less wanting in character than their ancestors. 

* Quoted from Winston Churchill, The Grand Alliance (Volume III of The Second 
World War), 607-608, by permission of the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Company, 
Boston, Mass. 



LETTERS FROM NATHANIEL MACON TO 
JOHN RANDOLPH OF ROANOKE 

Edited by Elizabeth Gregory McPherson* 

No metric system has been devised for gauging a man's success. 
Although historians differ in their evaluation of Nathaniel Macon as 
a statesman, all agree that his potent influence was based on the 
confidence which his sincerity and honesty inspired. He had a back- 
ground similar to that of Thomas Jefferson, and played an important 
part in the election of Jefferson as President in 1800. Macon remained 
a stanch Republican, but on occasions he refused to follow his party, 
when, in his opinion, it deviated from its true course. 

Macon was born in Warren County, North Carolina, on December 
17, 1757, where he died on June 29, 1837. 1 He was educated at Prince- 
ton University, fought in the American Revolution, came under the 
political influence of Willie Jones, served in both houses of the North 
Carolina legislature, opposed the federal convention, and advocated 
the rejection of the Constitution of the United States. 2 After North 
Carolina was admitted to the Union, he embarked on a career of 
national importance, but never neglected local interests. On October 
26, 1791, he took his seat in the House of Representatives in Congress 
and served in that body continuously until December 13, 1815, when 
he resigned, having been elected to the Senate. 3 He served in that 
capacity without opposition until he voluntarily retired on November 
14, 1828, ending thirty-seven years of service in Congress. 4 From 1801 

* Dr. McPherson is a Manuscripts Historian, Manuscript Division, Library of Con- 
gress, Washington, D. C. 

1 Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1 94-9: The Continental Con- 
gress, September 5, 1774, to October 21, 1788, and the Congress of the United States 
from the First to the Eightieth, March 4, 1789 to January 3, 1849, Inclusive (Wash- 
ington, D. C: United States Government Printing Office, Eighty-First Congress, 
Second Session, House Document No. 607, 1950), 1, 490, hereinafter cited as the Con- 
gressional Directory. 

2 Allen Johnson, Dumas Malone, and Others (eds.), Dictionary of American Biog- 
raphy (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons [Published under the auspices of the 
American Council of Learned Societies], 20 volumes, index [for Volumes I-XX], and 
Supplementary Volumes XXI and XXII, 1928-1958), XII, 157-158, hereinafter cited 
as Malone, Dictionary of American Biography. 

8 Malone, Dictionary of American Biography, XII, 158. 

* Congressional Directory, 1,490; Samuel A. Ashe (ed.), Biographical History of 
North Carolina, From Colonial Times to the Present (Greensboro: Charles L. Van 
Noppen, 8 volumes, 1905-1917), IV, 300, hereinafter cited as Ashe, Biographical 
History. 



196 The North Carolina Historical Review 

to 1807 he was Speaker of the House and was elected President pro 
tempore of the Senate on May 20, 1826, January 2, and March 2, 
1827. 5 In 1825 he received twenty-four electoral votes for Vice- 
President of the United States. 6 

After his resignation from the Senate, he retired to "Buck Spring," 
his home in Warren County, with the expectation of remaining in 
seclusion. But he was frequently interrupted by callers, particularly 
young politicians who sought advice, and in 1835 he served as Presi- 
dent ot the State constitutional convention. 7 In 1836 he became inter- 
ested in the candidacy of Martin Van Buren and was an elector. In 
retirement he busied himself with his plantation, letter writing, and 
his favorite sports— tox hunting and horse racing. 

One of his correspondents was John Randolph of Roanoke, with 
whom he was closely associated in Congress. Many towns and counties 
bear the names of these two men, and Randolph-Macon College was 
named in their honor. Most people who have studied the history of the 
United States during the first half of the nineteenth century are famil- 
iar with their leadership. Neither were profound thinkers nor profound 
statesmen, yet they were dominant political figures. William E. Dodd 
concludes that Macon was a stronger and a more influential man than 
"his brilliant but flighty friend of Roanoke/' 8 Of their correspondence 
no great number of letters is known to be extant. Macon himself 
ordered all of his papers burned before his death. Enough survived, 
however, to reveal the David-Jonathan friendship between the two 
men. Macon's letters show that he was acute and observant and had 
an interest in all the details of economic life which he saw about him as 
well as political affairs. He was genuinely interested in crops, com- 
merce, and the tariff. The everyday comedy of life and its minutia 
attracted him. He was constantly doing small kindnesses pleasantly and 
graciously. He had the outward graces which are helpful to men in 
all walks of life, and particularly in politics. His letters also bear testi- 
mony that the impressiveness of his person and demeanor was never 
marred by the least haughtiness or superciliousness. His manners, 
though very dignified were perfectly simple and democratic. The 
fourteen heretofore unpublished letters from Macon to Randolph, 
dated from 1810 to 1830, are among the John Randolph of Roanoke 
Papers in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. 



6 Congressional Directory, 1,490. 

6 Congressional Directory, 1,490. 

7 Ashe, Biographical History, IV, 302-304. 

8 William E. Dodd, The Life of Nathaniel Macon (Raleigh: Edwards and Brough- 
ton, 1903), 400-401. 



Letters from Macon to Randolph 



197 




For years many people have un- 
derstood that no portrait or likeness 
of Nathaniel Macon was extant. 
Reproduced here are two pictures of 
Macon. This photograph was taken 
from a portrait by Robert D. 
Gauley and hangs in the Speaker's 
lobby of the United States House 
of Representatives. It was obtained 
from The Library of Congress, 
Photoduplication Service, Washing- 
ton 25, D. C 



This picture of Nathaniel Macon 
was given to The Review by Mrs. 
Minnie R. Norris of Raleigh. It 
appeared in W. J. Peele, Lives of 
Distinguished North Carolinians. 
According to Mr. Edward Seawell 
of Raleigh, who gave the picture 
to Mrs. Norris, it was used also in 
History of Macon, Georgia, by Ida 
Young, Julius Gholson, and Clara 
N. Hargrove. 




198 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Buck Spring 15 August 1810 
Sir 

The letter you wrote to me on the 2. instant has been received, the 
request therein complied with, except to R H Jones, 9 who was at Meck- 
lenburg, I believe every one of acquaintances at Warrenton made the 
enquiry 

Col David R Williams 10 of South Carolina, is here with his son, starts 
to day for Rhode Island 

The Sunday we were at Bristow near Williamsborough, I had a little 
time a very hard rain, since which dry, dry, dry — corn nearly burnt up- 
every thing wants rain and a great deal of it, the wetest part of the 
branches in tobacco are vastly too dry — 

Poor Moses, 11 you & Beverley can tell of your mishaps, well from my 
heart I am sorry for all that, tell B. I think of him with real pleasure, 
Williams almost prevents my writing, by saying remember me to Ran- 
dolph 

God bless you 
Nath 1 Macon 



Washington 28 April 1820 
Sir 

I have been this minute presented with the enclosed ; although I had no 
direction about the pictures, I thought it best to pay for them, and send 
them to Petersburg 

The Mess, 12 and Hall, 13 more often than any other, asks when did you 



"Robert H. Jones, a native of Virginia, moved to Warrenton, North Carolina, dur- 
ing the early part of the nineteenth century and in 1828 was appointed attorney 
general of the State. Lizzie Wilson Montgomery, Sketches of Old Warrenton, North 
Carolina, Traditions and Reminiscences of the Town and People Who Made It (Ra- 
leigh: Edwards and Broughton Company, 1924), 399-401. 

10 David R. Williams (March 8, 1776-November 17, 1830), statesman, newspaper 
editor, cotton planter and manufacturer, brigadier general during the War of 1812, 
and a member of Congress (March 4, 1805-March 3, 1813), was active in South Caro- 
lina politics. He served as governor of that State and in its legislature. On Novem- 
ber 17, 1839, he was accidentally killed while superintending the construction of a 
bridge over Lynch's Creek, Malone, Dictionary of American Biography, XX, 253-254. 

11 Moses was one of Randolph's slaves. When he returned from Russia in 1830, Ran- 
dolph brought some of his field hands to serve as house servants — Moses was one of 
them. Randolph, who was by this time mentally ill, was soon heard saying, "Moses 
goes rooting around the house like a hog." William Cabell Bruce, John Randolph of 
Roanoke, 17 73-1883 (New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2 volumes, 1922), 
II, 7, hereinafter cited as Bruce, John Randolph. 

22 Here Macon refers to the "Mess" as members of Congress who lived at a famous 
boardinghouse in Washington known as Dowson's, of which Alfred R. Dowson was 
the proprietor. The house was located on Square 687 between Delaware Avenue and 
First and A and B Streets, Northeast. For a list of members of Congress who lived 
there, most of whom were from southern States, see George Rothwell Brown, Wash- 
inaton: A Not Too Serious History (Baltimore: The Norman Publishing Company, 
1930), 135-136. 

13 Thomas H. Hall (June, 1773-June 30, 1853), a representative in Congress from 
North Carolina, was born in Prince George County, Virginia; studied medicine and 
later practiced in Tarboro, North Carolina; served in Congress from 1817 to 18?5 and 
from 1827 to 1836; resumed the practice of medicine and engaged in agricultural 
pursuits until his death. Congressional Directory, 1,253. 



Letters from Macon to Randolph 199 

hear from M. r Randolph, the poor fellow, has been a little unwell for two 
days past, though not confined to his bed; I am not informed as to the 
state of the negotiations between Vice & the administration, things in 
Congress about as usual, no lack of speaking in the opinion of your 
friend 

Nath 1 Macon 



Washington 6 May 1820 
Sir 

I have this morning received your letter of the 4. instant; McAlister 
has not sent me for you five dollars, nor have I heard from him, The sum 
claimed by Dixon was five dollars & eighty cents, which was paid 

If you see Peter Brown [e], 14 shake him by the hand for me 

At breakfast your message to the mess was delivered, who all requested 
me, to return their thanks for your friendly remembrance, Hall and Bur- 
ton 15 reciprocate most perfectly your good will; & sincerely wish you an 
agreeable trip, a pleasant tour & safe return as does your friend 

Nath 1 Macon 

I believe the sum paid for you, is seventeen dollars and thirty eight 
cents 

N. M. 



Washington 11 March 1822 
Sir 

Your note dated 9 O.clock yesterday, was picked up in the passage by 
John Sanders this morning at 20 minutes past 7 — and brought to me ; Mr. 
Alexander 16 & myself examined your room immediately after it was 



"Peter Browne (1764 or 1765-1832), a native of Scotland, came to North Carolina, 
began to practice law in Windsor in 1796, moved to Halifax about 1798, and soon 
was a leading member of the State bar. He also served as President of the North 
Carolina State Bank in Raleigh. J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton (ed.), The Papers of 
Thomas Ruff in (Raleigh: The North Carolina Historical Commission [State Depart- 
ment of Archives and History], 4 volumes, 1918-1920), II, 55, 102-105, 490, 508, 543; 
William Henry Hoyt (ed.), The Papers of Archibald D. Murphey (Raleigh: The 
North Carolina Historical Commission [State Department of Archives and History], 
2 volumes, 1914), I, 80-81w. 

15 Hutchins Gordon Burton (1782-April 21, 1836), a member of the House in Con- 
gress from North Carolina, was born in Virginia. At the age of three his father died 
and Hutchins moved to Granville County where he was reared by his uncle, Colonel 
Robert Burton. He served in the State legislature (1809-1810) and as attorney gen- 
eral (1810-1816). He moved to Halifax County and in 1819 he was elected as a rep- 
resentative to Congress where he served from December 6, 1819, until his resignation 
on March 23, 1824, having been elected Governor of North Carolina, in which capa- 
city he served until 1827. When General Lafayette visited Raleigh in 1825, Burton 
served as his official host. Congressional Directory, 925. 

16 Mark Alexander (February 7, 1792-October 7, 1883), a native of Mecklenburg 
County, Virginia, graduated from the University of North Carolina, practiced law 
in Boydton, Virginia, and served in the Virginia House of Delegates (1817-1819) and 
as a member of Congress from March 4, 1819, to March 3, 1833. During the second 
winter that he was in Washington he was a member of the "mess" which consisted 
of John Randolph, Nathaniel Macon, Thomas Hart Benton, Weldon N. Edwards, 
Thomas W. Cobb, and Edward F. Tattnall. Congressional Directory, 770; Bruce, 
John Randolph, I, 601, 651; II, 6. 



200 The North Carolina Historical Review 

handed to me, but the cushion was not there; enquiry was then made 
among the servants for it, one of the boys said, it was under the bed that 
your man Johnny slept in; he was sent for it, & it is now ready at 8. 
0. Clock to be forwarded by the first stage to you at Barnums; Had the 
note been received in time, every effort should have been made, to have 
sent it by the first stage this morning, by your friend 

Nath 1 Macon 
Turn over 

Monday Morning 

Alexander has keep [sic'] the key of your room & the door has been con- 
stantly locked since you left it; so that the cushion must have been out, 
before you went to Baltimore; a little after 8 O.clock, George was sent 
to the office, with a request, that the stage might stop at Dowson's, to take 
for me a small bundle to Barnums Baltimore, he reported it would stop; 
Three quarters past ten, the stage called, & took the cushion ; it is tied up 
in newspaper, a sheet of white paper on one side, directed to you, at Bar- 
num's Baltimore 

God bless & preserve you 
N.M. 



Washington 11 May 1828 
Sir 

I have received a letter from M. r William Leigh, 17 dated the 6-instant, 
in which he informs me, that you had got home, & was very sick the 
night before he wrote, but much better at the time he was writing ; I need 
not tell you my feelings on reading it, because you know them; the last 
part was as pleasing as it could be, & I hope that it may be the last severe 
attack, you will have, & that home & rest, may make you a well man & 
that you may be here next winter to see Jackson president 

I propose to you, to strike out the last part of M. r Leigh's letter, which 
relates to what may be said after your death 

My tobacco plants I am informed are very small & much injured by the 
frost & the fly; My crop of last year has been lately sold for $150. after 
paying the carriage to Peter sbrug, say lb 5242 of tobacco & 306-of cotton, 
about enough to pay the overseer & the taxes; The gust injured me last 
year, a good deal 

Col Tattnall 18 was to leave Middletown about the 6 instant for New 
York on his way to Georgia 






"William Leigh was a close friend of Randolph. Both Judges Leigh and John 
Marshall strongly urged Randolph not to accept the post of Envoy Extraordinary 
and Minister Plenipotentiary to Russia in 1830. Bruce, John Randolph, II, 623-624. 

18 Edward F. Tattnall (1788-November 21, 1832) served in Congress representing 
Georgia from March 4, 1821, until his resignation in 1827. In the duel between John 
Randolph and Henry Clay on April 8, 1826, Tattnall served as second for Randolph. 
Congressional Directory, 1,896; Bruce, John Randolph, I, 515-525. 






Letters from Macon to Randolph 201 

Col Benton 19 will I think make Webster tired of the Senate, if he has 
not already done it 

Do not plague yourself to answer my letters, though it would gratify 
me very much, to know that you had recovered your health 

Will you offer to M r Leigh the esteem & respect of 

Your friend 
Nath 1 Macon 



Buck Spring 14 May 1828 
Sir 

Since I got home, I have had some girts wove, two of them were in- 
tended for you, yesterday M. r George Barkerville took them for you, & 
promised to hand them to our good friend Mark Alexander, with a request, 
that he would contrive them to you, one is entirely cotton, the other half 
wool, half cotton, as I never saw one of either kind, I cannot tell how they 
will answer, the [y] are free of tariff in every respect, the produce & labor 
of the plantation 

I have had since being at home, two middling severe attacks of diarrhoea 
each continued three days, I am now not altogether well, but well enough 
to be about 

My crops of corn & oats look well for the quality of the land, tobacco 
mostly planted since my return with sorry plants, wheat not good 

I wrote you & put the letter with the girts the same in substance as 
this 

I have not seen a single person who reads news papers enough to give 
the abuse they contain, I have nothing to tell you nor offer you, which 
has not been told & exposed often before, but it may be repeated, as it is 
true, that your friend, & that you have my best wishes, & that every 
good may attend you 

Nath 1 Macon 

N.B. I would have made the girts, but had no leather fit to put the buckles 
to, I write this by mail, under the expectation, that you will get it before 
you hear from Mark — farewell — 

NM 

The girts are about two inches longer than common because your horses 
are large & fat 

Nath 1 Macon 



"During the latter years of Randolph's Congressional career, among his most inti- 
mate friends were Macon, Thomas Hart Benton, James Hamilton of South Carolina, 
and Mark Alexander. Often Alexander served as Randolph's amanuensis. Of Benton, 
whose rooms were very near Randolph's, Alexander wrote on March 4, 1820 : "Benton 
. . . was always reserved, with no intimate association or friendship, but always master 
of the subject he discussed, and whose lamp never went out at night until one or 
two o'clock." Bruce, John Randolph, II, 314, 336, 356, 374, 381, 407, 452, 544, 623, 
624, 688. 



202 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Buck Spring 1 Jan* 1829 
Sir 

I cannot conceal from you, that I am very much gratified, with your 
letters & that of M. r Garnett, 20 & if I was to attempt to conceal it, you 
would know the fact, yours of the 26 instant was this day received, I read 
the whole news papers that you sent & scarcely any thing else; most of 
the ills in England & the U.S. may be traced to the paper system adopted 
in each country, the case of M. rs Saunders and her husband was no doubt 
produced by that of England, that of the drunkard not so certain; but a 
desire to appear rich is I think one of the effects of it, & that too without 
doing any labor or business to get rich 

I went yesterday a hunting, continued trailing one or more foxes, till 
I got in the afternoon with M. r G — Alston's 21 & went to his house, found 
him not well, & I fear in a bad state of health, & this morning coming' 
home, was joined by several of his neighbors & caught a fox, after an 
agreeable chase, it was not the less agreeable, as one of my dogs was 
generally considered the best 22 

I am not a little pleased, that M. rs Decatur 23 remembers me, in the 
friendly manner she expressed to you, it is a proof of her magnamimity, 
when you see her I must trouble to say to her, that she has my old fashion 
good will & respect. 

If you should write to M. r Garnett, while at Washington, pray remem- 
ber me to him, in your most friendly manner, & assure him of my con- 
tinued regard & esteem — I neither read the proceedings of Congress & nor 
the assembly, but am certain that both will do too much, to do any good, 
if that is not a paradox 

The weather warm & pleasant no use for a great coat, though boots, not 
shoe boots are necessary, on account of the bad roads 

Yours ever & truly 

Nath 1 Macon 



20 James M. Garnett (June 8, 1770-April 23, 1843) was a member of Congress from 
Virginia and served from March 4, 1805, to March 3, 1809. He was a close friend of 
Randolph and accompanied him on numerous bird hunts. Their hunting ground was 
in the District of Columbia, a little north of the Capitol. Congressional Directory, 
1,197; Bruce, John Randolph, I, 565. 

21 Gideon Alston of Halifax County, North Carolina, was a councilor of the State 
from 1807 to 1831. R. D. W. Connor (comp. and ed.), A Manual of North Carolina, 
1913 (Raleigh: North Carolina Historical Commission [State Department of Archives 
and History], 1913), 429-432. 

^Macon's home, "Buck Spring," was about twelve miles north of Warrenton, and 
his nearest neighbor's house was about five miles distant. Here he entertained simply, 
but his hospitality was famous. He was exceedingly fond of fox hunting and kept 
approximately a dozen pureblooded foxhounds. Alston and Randolph were among his 
most frequent companions on these chases. In 1819 when James Monroe was on his 
southern tour, he visited Macon and enjoyed a foxhunt. Ashe, Biographical History, 

IV, 293. 

23 Susan Wheeler Decatur, daughter of Luke Wheeler, Mayor of Norfolk, Virginia, 
married Stephen Decatur March 8, 1806. Malone, Dictionary of American Biography, 

V, 188. 






Letters from Macon to Randolph 203 

Washington 8 Feby 1829 



Sir 



Yesterday was quite warm, in the last night it began to rain & seems 
likely to rain all day : The earth was wet & miry before, the weather has 
for some time been unfavorable for ploughing, & too much rain for stock, 
especially for lambs, calves & pigs, indeed it injures all ages 

The people in some parts of the U. S, are become very subject to foreign 
fevers, as soon as they get on the mend from one they are attacked by 
another, though they do not employ doctors, they pay to get cured, though 
each makes the bill, for himself or herself; men, women, & children are 
all I believe subject to it, whether the colonizing fever be foreign or not 
I cannot undertake to decide, but surely the South American, the Greek 
& Irish are all foreign: The people most subject to these fevers, when- 
ever attacked, cry out for a new tariff to enable them to pay their bills, 
that of 1816 might be called the South American, that of 1824, the Greek 
& that of 1828, the Irish, In all these fevers, there is a strong desire mani- 
fested, to make the South side of the Potomac, pay the expense of the 
cure, which it does, after a little fuss, I am already getting scarce of pro- 
vinder for cattle, & the wild turkies I fear have destroyed my oat stacks, 
they have certainly injured them more, than could have been expected, 
they were in a field some distance from the house, which was not fre- 
quented by any person, & the injury was accidentally discovered 

I was hunting yesterday, & again trailed a fox till the afternoon, with- 
out starting, they are very scarce, & travel much in the night 

I have this minute received the note, in which you, tell me, that Major 
Hamilton regrets, the non publication, of my last speech on the Tariff, I 
wished it published myself, but waited so long for the short hand man, to 
send it to me, that I could not trust myself to do it, when he sent, he only 
sent his notes, which were of no use to me ; I believe I still have my notes, 
those of the short hand man, were returned by M. r D. Turner 24 to Gales 
& Seaton, his name, I believe was Sparhawk; 25 Turner can tell 

M. r Madison I expect, begins to wish that he had not written his two 
letters, to prove that he was an old man, & I seem to be following his 
example, except I wrote to different sort of men, I do not know his cor- 
respondent, 

I am doing this year, what I never done before, that is, to turn my ewes 
as fast as they have lambs on the wheat patch, it is a patch, & not a field; 
any thing to keep the Tariff men, from my plantation 

If I write you the same thing twice, you must place it, to its proper 
cause forgetfulness 



^Daniel Turner (September 21, 1796-July 21, 1860) graduated from the United 
States Military Academy in 1814; served in Congress from 1827 to 1829; was princi- 
pal of Warrenton (North Carolina) Female Seminary; and later served as superin- 
tending engineer of construction of the public works at the Navy Yard, Mare Island, 
California. Congressional Directory, 1,936. 

25 Edward Vernon Sparhawk, a reporter for the National Intelligencer (Washing- 
ton, D. C), was a target for the complaints of John Randolph concerning the accur- 
acy of the reports of his debates. Register of Debates in Congress, 1825-1837 (Wash- 
ington, D. C: 29 volumes, 1825-1837), Twentieth Congress, First Session, 186; 
National Intelligencer, January 15, February 18, March 10, 13, 1828. 



204 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Tell Major Hamilton, 26 that I am not a little gratified, that he wished 
the speech published, & that I regret his being out of Congress hereafter 

Yours ever & truly 
Nath 1 Macon 



Buck Spring 22 Feby 1829 
Sir 

This afternoon I was gratified with the receipt of your letters of the 
-12-13-15 & 18- instant, could you only have added, I am well, the gratifi- 
ciation would have been complete, some company was here when they & 
the news papers were brought home, which prevented my reading the 
newspapers; I am now trying to write by candle light, because I expect 
to start early in the morning to Warrenton, a place I have not seen since 
Christmas; when I last wrote to you, the morning was wet & warm, it 
cleared up about noon with a northwest wind, strong & cold, uncommonly 
so considering the warmth of the morning, the wind was nearly equal to 
such you have in Washington on the next day, yesterday it was too cold 
to work, to day quite pleasant 

I have always had a dread, that such men as Lee would flock about the 
General, he should only have the upright about him, 

Say to Major Hamilton I am too contented at home, to undertake to 
write out the speech delivered under strong feelings & great excitement, 
but if he will call here as he returns, he shall have the notes read, he could 
not read them ; when speaking I said many things, I never thought of be- 
fore, & they had left me, when I made an attempt here to write it 

The General's calling to see you, augurs well, but he must (as said 
before) only have the upright about him, it was a great point in Wash- 
ington's character, that he never had the wicked about him 

The loss of a friend at our age is irreparable, & that of a female friend 
whose kindness & goodness we know, is vastly more distressing than that 
of male, but your friend may be yet alive, & live to see you, God Grant 
that she may 

Taylor's land adjoins Frank Jones, & was not I am informed sold ; I go 
to no sales, of course you must have what I hear 

Remember me to the Mess, I shall put this in the mail at Warrenton 
tomorrow 

Yours ever & truly 
Nath 1 Macon 



Buck Spring 6 March 1829 
Sir 

Since my last to you, I have received, your letter of the 19- 21- 22- 23- 
25-26- & 27 ultimo : The cabinet has made the supporters of the President 



26 James Hamilton, Jr. (May 8, 1786-November 15, 1857) was born in Charleston, 
South Carolina, served in the War of 1812 and in Congress as a State Rights Free 
Trader (1822-1829), and was governor of his native State from 1830 to 1832. Con- 
gressional Directory, 1,258. 



Letters from Macon to Randolph 205 

silent, particularly Ingham, 27 his former report on the post office, is re- 
membered but enough, it is often happenned [sic] that the effects of a 
victory has been almost lost, by improper doings after it has been dearly 
gained; a vote from me, on some of the nominations would have been 
useless ; Home is the place for me, though nothing but the strongest con- 
viction, that it was my duty induced me to quit the ship when I did, & I 
have never once regretted it 

February has been an unfavorable month to the planters, & as yet 
march no better, the ground badly was fit to plough, I have heard of only 
one man who sowed oats; For poor Dawson 28 I am truly sorry, but one 
not connected with the government, except to pay taxes, has no weight 
nor would I know to whom, to write to expect the least luck for a recom- 
mendation 

This is the second letter directed to Charlotte C-H- Last Wednesday, I 
met some of the neighbors to hunt, while the dogs were trailing a fox in 
pretty good style a dog which was one of them brought, not a full hound 
I expect, got a head of them, started, run the fox off & lost him, after a 
long trail, he was again started, & caught after a severe race 

Yesterday & last night, we had a good deal of rain, I discovered too 
late, that I had begun to write on the wrong part of the paper 

M r Madison must be tired of his letters about the power to encourage 
manufactures, he must have forgot himself, old horses, that have never 
been run hard & taken from the turf for years, rarely succeed well, in 
a second training 

That blessing upon blessing may attend [yo] u is the cordial wish of 

Your old & sincere friend 
Nath 1 Macon 



Buck Spring 26 April 1829 
Sir 

Your not writing since the 30 of last month, has made me very appre- 
hensive, that severe indisposition has prevented, I am sure that some 
strong cause prevented, & your long bad health, at once suggests, sick- 
ness: I earnestly hope, that the suggestion may not be true, & that you 
have been too much engaged in the agreeable amusement of attending to 
your plantations, to spare time to write 

I have for the last two months had a sick family of negroes, I believe, 
in my last I told you, of the death of the most valuable young woman, that 
I owned, two young ones, women, are now sick & have been for some 
time ; & two old, a man & his wife are complaining a good deal, & several 
have uncommonly bad colds — My plantation far from being in good 
order, the creek low grounds have more clods than I ever saw, I shall try 
to break them, as soon as I can 



^Samuel D. Ingham (September 16, 1779-June 5, 1860) was born in Bucks County, 
Pennsylvania. He served at intervals in Congress from 1813 to 1829 and as Secretary 
of the Treasury in Andrew Jackson's cabinet from March 6, 1829, to June 21, 1831. 
Congressional Directory, 1,358. 

28 Beau Dawson was buried at public expense. Bruce, John Randolph, II, 318. 



206 The North Carolina Historical Review 

You have been mentioned in the way you wish, to all your friends in 
Warren, that I have seen since your request was received, all glad to be 
remembered by you 

I stay almost constantly at home, but have to go to Granville & to 
G. Alston; as soon as I can with propriety leave the sick negroes 

We had frost last night, which I fear has injured the fruit & mast, & 
so cold to day, that I am writing near a pretty good fire; tobacco plants 
uncommonly small, for the time of the year, & I do not believe that I have 
one as large as the eighth of a dollar ; More tobacco intended to be planted 
in the county this year than last, one of the county men, cured his tobacco 
in the new way, & sold it for thirteen dollars, a hundred, it was sold 
immediately afterwards for 14$, mine old fashioned, averaged a little more 
than 4 — : I expect to be scuffled to keep even with the world, in money af- 
fairs, but shall try to do it, my own wants are not many, but others who 
think, they have just claim on me, for support, are not so limited ; they are 
young, but not extravagant for the times 

The hollow horn among my cattle & distemper among the goats, has 
reduced my stock of both very much, the latter more than half 

I expect the roads are now good, & the weather not too warm to be 
disagreable, & hope very soon to be informed when you will be here, bring 
any friends with you, that you may wish; The faithful Mark will come 
with you 

I have had the skirts of an old coat cut to mend the sleeves, & a pair 
of pantaloons, this was done because I had not time to have clothes spun 
& wove, as yet, I have kept clear of the accursed thing — Tariff — 

I had written this much, when your letter of the 9 & 14 instant were 
handed to me, I cannot express my feelings on reading them ; your health 
not improved, it must then, be worse, My first thought was, that if he 
(yourself) cannot come to see me, I will try to borrow a carriage & horse 
& go to see him, I must see him, do not therefore be surprised if I visit 
you, as soon as I can leave with propriety my sick negroes, another, a 
man the foreman, has this minute sent me word that he was sick: I can- 
not say certainly, that I will visit you or when, but I can say, that I will 
try to do it, I expect that I may borrow something that will take me to 
Roanoke 

Leof borough's 29 letter is returned, it is written with his usual good 
sense, he would have made a comptroller or an auditor worth much to the 
people; printers are printers, the trade is to support them, & Editors & 
printers of newspapers are like the long S & the short S or the straight d 
& the round d- all the same : I am certain that you will never repent re- 
tiring from public life, though no man ever retired, when retiring was 
more regretted by the honest good livers of the country, — a government of 
Editors, would be a government of the hungry, if half they state about 
themselves be true — 

Do not look for me, or expect me, because it may happen, that I cannot 
leave, or get to your house, but I shall try, if you cannot come here 



^Nathaniel Loughborough of Grassland, near Washington, D. C, was a close friend 
of Randolph. The two men were probably drawn together because of their "common 
passion for horse-flesh." At one time Loughborough considered publishing a com- 
pilation of Randolph's table talk and speeches. Bruce, John Randolph, II, 631-633. 






Letters from Macon to Randolph 207 

I finished planting corn last week, & hope to plant cotton this, My last 
crop of tobacco was good, cured in the old way, & only sold for a little 
more than $4, a hundred, 

Suffer me to say, on your account, I am sincerely glad, that you have 
quit Congress, but not so on account of your good constituents, they will, 
& so will all the good people of the states miss you ; your being in Wash- 
ington was a check to the intriguers 

Plutarch I think compares many of the Greeks & Romans: could he 
compare the Secretaries of some of the departments in the U.S. Govern- 
ment 

Farewell & farewell, God bless you & give you health so long as he 
permits you to stay in this world, 

Your old & sincere friend, now & forever 
Nath 1 Macon 

D.R.W Is not I am certain a tariff man, if he is, he [is] much changed — 

N.M. 



Buck Spring 26 Oc- tr 1830 
Sir 

Your man Edmund started from here yesterday morning, with three 
fawns, a buck & two does, one of the does was rather younger, than I 
wished, but I had no other, M. r Eaton 30 was from home & in King William 
County Virginia, had he have been at home, I should no doubt, have got 
one older from him M. r Leigh sent the cart & waggon covers both; with 
them I could not so fix the cart, as to carry the fawns, with any prospect 
of certainty, I therefore had a cage made & put in the cart, which I expect 
will carry them safely. Edmund could not carry provender sufficiently for 
his horse, & told me, that he had no money to buy any; I gave him one 
dollar to purchase what he might want, he requested me, to inform both 
you & M. r W. m Leigh of the fact, This is only done, because he requested 
it. The cage is entirely seperate [sic] from the cart, & the cart returned 
exactly as it came 

The fall has been dry & warm, now almost summer, through there has 
been much cloudy weather 

Edwards went from here to day, he made as friendly enquiries after 
you, as he could, & concluded by wishing that you was a member of the 
Senate of the U — S — 

Saunders went from here on Sunday the day before yesterday, he like- 
wise made as many enquiries after you & had the same wish 

Mr. Leigh wrote to me, by Edmund, & informed me, that you wrote to 
him, off Copenhagen, 31 & that you had a cold, but was getting better 



30 William Eaton, a wealthy planter of the Roanoke River, married Seigniora (also 
spelled Seignora), daughter of Nathaniel Macon. Kemp P. Battle (ed.), The Letters 
of Nathaniel Macon, John Steele, and William Barry Grove (Chapel Hill: The Uni- 
versity of North Carolina, James Sprunt Historical Monograph No. 3, 1902), 40. 

31 Randolph sailed from Norfolk, Virginia, on the "Concord" on June 28, 1830, for 
Russia and reached St. Petersburg on August 10. He took with him three of his 
slaves — John, Juba, and Eboe — and also wine, books, firearms, a barrel of bread, a 
coffee pot, and a coffee mill. Bruce, John Randolph, I, 636-638. 



208 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The mast it is thought, will fatten hogs in some places, not so about 
me ; Old corn is now three dollars a barrel, the new crop not great, wheat 
in no demand 

If there was capital at Weldon or Halifax the Roanoke navigation would 
no doubt succeed, as most people seem anxious to carry their crops to 
one of the places 

The young doe fawn sent, eats very well & will I expect be easily raised ; 
M. r Leigh & Edmund were both informed, what all of them would eat, & 
how to manage them 

The crop of cotton is like to turn out, much better than was expected, 
that of corn will not I am sure in this neighborhood; The fall has been 
fine for saving every kind of crop, & stock of all kind, looks well; The 
ground is now too hard to plough 

Edwards told me, that he had a great crop, of corn & cotton, My dogs 
have caught six foxes, I was only out at the catching of three, they have 
also lost three; The distemper has killed one, ruined another, & injured 
several, They are now old, middle aged & young, of course hard to keep 
together 

Clays speech at Cincinnati & Johnson's eight points which you have 
doubtless seen; surpass all the electioneering, that I have ever seen; one 
a candidate for the presidency, the other a supreme Judge I cannot com- 
ment on either, they both seem to go too far for me, to say a word about 
them; but when candidates for the presidency, make electioneering 
speeches, & Judges of the Supreme Court decide political & Judicial 
questions out of court, the republic cannot be in a good way; Taylor got 
the better of the Judges; I write under the belief, that you see more 
American News papers than I do. 

Last month Spot was sick a day or two, it was discovered in the morn- 
ing by the old man, that feeds him, he was much swelled in his body; a 
dose of lard relieved him; since which he has been a little lame in one 
of his fore legs, no cause for it has been discovered, he has been hunted 
only twice, no fox started either time he is now well 

The administration continues to be approved in this part of the country 

Doctor Hall was here in the Summer, made enquiries about you often 
the two days he staid here, & I believe he regrets declining a re-election ; 
Saunders told me, there was some talk of electing him in the district, 
without his being a candidate, he also wishes you in the Senate 

Burton is engaged at the Gold mines & says he is doing well, I have 
not seen Mark Alexander since he returned from Washington, I have 
heard that he went to the Virginia Springs last summer ; I told Edmund 
to try to get to his house on Monday night, I hope you will excuse this 
freedom ; I done it for the best, that he might not stay at any place, where 
the fawns might be plagued or troubled 

I have written exactly as the thoughts occurred & am 

Your friend now & ever 
Nath 1 Macon 
This is the fourth letter 



Sir 



LETTERS FROM MACON TO RANDOLPH 209 

Buck Spring 31 Dec/ 1830 



I have received two letters from you since you left Virginia, the first 
dated from August 5/ 18 to 18/ 22 the other September the 8/ 20 to 17/ 29 
both of this year ; I have read them repeatedly, with feelings that cannot 
be described; with sorrow & grief for your sufferings, & that of poor 
Juba, & with satisfaction & gratification, that in your constant pain & 
trouble you should exert yourself to write to me, & I must add with pleas- 
ure & joy at the reception the Court of Russia gave you ; Such a mixture 
of feelings never before agitated the breast of any man old or young I 
fully believe; The company of the Russian General, who gave the infor- 
mation about the war, must have been quite pleasing at any time & in 
any situation; but the time & place must have made it truly interesting 
& highly pleasing. It was fortunate that you found the kind M. rs Wilson ; 
her house was no doubt the best suited to you, of any in St Petersburg 

The winter with the exception of a few days has been damp & warm 
lately a good deal of rain, & a smart fresh in the river, if smart can be 
properly so applied, the weather too warm to kill hogs, I have been de- 
sirous for more than a week to kill mine, & they are eating corn that I 
cannot conveniently spare 

The cotton crop if it can be saved will turn out better than was ex- 
pected, tobacco pretty good quality, though not much planted in this 
county, Indian corn about middling crop, wheat that was sowed in time 
likely, hogs rather scarce with me, I have tried to have meat enough by 
killing fat weathers [sic] 

It is 51 years this day, since I came to live on this plantation, which 
though of no consequence, you will not be unwilling to read ; & my health 
has been better the last five month than it has been for several years 
past; my neck continuues a little stiff, & makes it difficult to suit a pillar 
to it, when I ly [sic] down 

My dogs have caught 15 foxes this season they have not been as success- 
ful as in past years, nor have they been hunted as much by me, because I 
was kicked by a horse on the left leg, which prevented my going out for 
a month, it is now I hope well, at least it is so, that I have been at the 
catching of 5 or 6 foxes since the kick, two on last thursday 

I this minute with Nash brandy grog drink your speedy recovery, & 
hereafter better health than you have had for the last 40 years, as good 
as one of your age can have 

In one of my former letters I mentioned the death of M. rs Turner, since 
which M. r Park has gone to live at his plantation in Mecklenburg, Vir- 
ginia ; I now have to add that M rs Alston the wife of Gideon is also dead ; 
& that her death will I fear shorten the life of her husband; General 
D. R. Williams of South Carolina has been killed, by the falling of the 
timber of a bridge, he was attempting to raise over Lynches creek ; this 
year I have lost three real friends; & two now in bad health a situation, 
not to be coveted, especially at 72 years old 

I have heard that a good deal of produce has gone to Weldon & Hali- 
fax, & that there are many boats constantly on the river ; I shall I now 
expect send my little crop to Petersburg either from habit, or ancient 



210 The North Carolina Historical Review 

attachment formed in hard times or because N. M. Martin is there ; though 
Petersburg is not now in no respect what it was in 1798 & 99 

I know nothing of what any Legislature in or out of the United States 
is doing or attempting to do & I know as little about European Revolu- 
tions as any one, I take no news paper, but a little one printed at Warren- 
ton truly little in every respect: but half revolutions, like half reforma- 
tions does not do much good; Had Luther have gone the whole, Calvin 
would have had no plan to have stood on, to put him out of the way 

I earnestly hope, that you may commence the year with health, happi- 
ness & prosperity, & that your days of pain & suffering are past 

This is the fifth letter to you 

Your predecessor has only I believe done in Europe what he done in 
America, a public man in a foreign country, ought to regard the morals 
of the world, as a part of his duty to his country, if he does not, he ought 
to be recalled instantly — I should have written you sooner after the re- 
ceipt of your first letter, but I had nothing to communicate, yet I might 
as I have now done, written that which could not be interesting or worth 
reading 

I am daily anxious to hear the state of your health, let me know it as 
often as you conveniently can 

Yours now & for ever 
Nath 1 Macon 

Spot since I informed you, that he had been sick & lame, has been per- 
fectly well, & so gaily, that I have not ventured to ride him hunting, since 
I wrote, that I had changed him with a man who was with me; The 
minute the dogs begin to give mouth, he begins to fret, & wants to run 
them, as fast as he can go ; although he is as gaily as a colt, has has not 
since the day he was sick, fattened the least, that I can perceive, & has not 
during the season been at the catching of three foxes ; & is now straining 
over the stable lot, his sickness though half a day long reduced him more 
than could have been supposed, the lameness slight, & not more than 3 days 
long — Your message has been delivered to every one that I have seen all 
were gratified & pleased that you remembered them, & desired me, to 
assure you of their respect & esteem ; Gideon Alston added & desired me, 
to assure you of their respect & esteem; Gideon Alston by G-d. I wish 
Virginia would elect him Senator to Congress, this is a general wish in 
the part of the country 



Buck [Spring] 
Sir 

I went yesterday to see M. r Turner and returned to day, found him 
much better than when M. r Park wrote, and left him mending this morn- 
ing; Your message was delivered to him, his lady, M. r Park & Edwards, 
all of whom desire to be remembered to you in the most friendly manner, 
& requested me also to tender you their thanks for you kind notice ; Turner 
added tell him; come & see us, & not be in a hurry to go home; though 
pleased to hear from him, I had much rather see him, & take him by the 
hand, so say I 



Letters from Macon to Randolph 211 

I begin to want rain a good deal — After opening my letter of the 20- 
instant ; I found that my sealing wax was not good, & fear it may rub off 

More cotton planted in this neighborhood than was last year; great 
complaint in Mecklenburg & Brunswick of the chintz bug in the wheat & 
some little with us 

Pray write often, that I may know the state of your health : I forgot in 
my last to state your friend Hall had an opponent 

Tell Old man Essex, Johnny & Juba Howdy- e & that I have a regard for 
their fidelity & attachment to you 

That health & happiness may attend you is the sincere wish of your 
friend 

Nath 1 Macon 

[P.S] 

Robert G. Martin is here, by him I send your recollections of his parents 
to them 

N. M 



NORTH CAROLINA BIBLIOGRAPHY, 1960-1961 \ 

By William S. Powell* 

Bibliography and Libraries 

Davenport, Walter. Ladies, gentlemen, and editors, by Walter Daven- 
port and James C. Derieux. Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday, 1960. 386 p. 
$4.95. 

Horine, Emmet Field. Biographical sketch and guide to the writings of 
Charles Caldwell, M. D. (1772-1853) with sections on phrenology and 
on hypnotism. Brooks, Ky., High Acres Press, 1960. 155 p. $10.00. 

Philosophy and Religion 

Bass, Walton N. A brief history of Methodism in Jones County, Trenton, 
[Author?], 1960. 48 p. $1.00. * 

Bowman, Clarice Margurette. Resources for worship. New York, As- 
sociation Press, 1961. 383 p. $4.95. 

Boyce, Henry Spurgeon. May I say. Durham, Christian Printing Co., 

1960. 162 p. $3.50. 

Cleland, James T. Wherefore art thou come? Meditations on the Lord's 
Supper. New York, Abingdon Press, 1961. 143 p. $2.50. 

Graham, William Franklin. My answer. Garden City, N. Y., Double- 
day, 1960. 259 p. $3.50. 

Hall, Everett Wesley. Our knowledge of fact and value. Chapel Hill, 
University of North Carolina Press, 1961. 220 p. $5.00. 

Philosophical systems, a categorial analysis. Chicago, Univer- 
sity of Chicago Press, 1960. 170 p. $4.00. 

Marney, Carlyle. Structures of prejudice. New York, Abingdon Press, 

1961. 256 p. $4.50. 

Martin, James Alfred. Fact, fiction, & faith. New York, Oxford Univer- 
sity Press, 1960. 186 p. $4.00. 
Oates, Wayne Edward, editor. The minister's own mental health. Great 

Neck, N. Y., Channel Press, 1961. 335 p. $4.95. 
Redhead, John A. Living all your life. New York, Abingdon Press, 1961. 

142 p. $2.00. 
Reid, Albert Clayton. Christ and human values. Nashville, Broadman 

Press, 1961. 109 p. $2.50. 
Slaughter, Frank Gill. The land and the promise, the greatest stories 

from the Bible, retold. Cleveland, World Publishing Co., 1960. 341 p. 

$3.95. 
Sloan, William Wilson. A survey of the New Testament. New York, 

Philosophical Library, 1961. 302 p. $4.75. 



1 Books dealing with North Carolina or by North Carolinians published during the 
year ending June 30, 1961. 

* Mr. Powell is Librarian of the North Carolina Collection, University of North 
Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. 



North Carolina Bibliography 213 

Strupp, Hans H. Psychotherapists in action, explorations of the thera- 
pist's contribution to the treatment process. New York, Grune & Strat- 
ton, 1960. 338 p. $8.75. 

Economics and Sociology 

Brown, Hugh Victor. A history of the education of Negroes in North 
Carolina. Raleigh, Irving Swain Press, 1961. 167 p. $3.00. 

Erasmus, Charles John. Man takes control, cultural development and 
American aid. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1961. 365 p. 
$6.50. 

Hand, Wayland D., editor. Superstitions from North Carolina. (Vol. VI 
in The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore.) Dur- 
ham, Duke University Press, 1961. 664 p. $7.50. 

Hodges, Luther Hartwell. Messages, addresses, and public papers of 
Luther Hartwell Hodges, Governor of North Carolina, 1954-1961. Edited 
by James W. Patton. Raleigh, Council of State, State of North Caro- 
lina, 1960. Vol. I, 1954-1956. 

Matthews, Donald Rowe. U. S. Senators and their world. Chapel Hill, 
University of North Carolina Press, 1960. 303 p. $6.00. 

Pfouts, Ralph William, editor. Essays in economics and econometrics. 
Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1960. 240 p. $7.50. 

Richardson, Frank Howard. For young adults only, the doctor dis- 
cusses your personal problems. Atlanta, Tupper & Love, 1961. 133 p. 
$2.95. 

Robinson, Ruth. Why they love to learn, the Mecklenburg program of 
individualized reading and language arts in the elementary grades. 
Charlotte, Heritage Printers, 1960. 172 p. $2.50. 

Tarbet, Donald G. Television at our schools. New York, Ronald Press 
Co., 1961. 268 p. $6.00. 

Wallace, Earle. Politics, U.S.A., cases on the American democratic pro- 
cess, by Andrew M. Scott and Earle Wallace. New York, Macmillan, 
1961. 571 p. $3.00. 

Washburn, Benjamin Earle. Rutherford County and its hospital. Spin- 
dale, The Spindale Press, 1960. 96 p. $3.00. 

Science 

Rounds, Glen. Beaver business, an almanac of the everyday activities of 
the beavers living and working at their trades in the nearby streams 
and swamps. 2 Englewood Cliffs, N. J., Prentice-Hall, 1960. 109 p. $3.00. 

Sasser, Joseph Neal, editor. Nematology, fundamentals and recent ad- 
vances, with emphasis on plant parasitic and soil forms. Edited by J. N. 
Sasser and W. R. Jenkins. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina 
Press, 1960. 480 p. $12.5Q. 

Thompson, William E. Your future in nuclear energy fields. New York, 
Richards Rosen Press, 1961. 160 p. $2.95. 



2 Winner of the American Association of University Women Award for juvenile 
literature, 1961. 



214 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Applied Science and Useful Arts 

Burton, Thomas C. Quickhand, the instant shorthand. Charlotte, Quick- 
hand Institute of America, 1960. 143 p. $2.50. 

Lawrence, Elizabeth L. Gardens in winter. New York, Harper, 1961. 
218 p. $4.50. 

Wahlenburg, William Gustavus. Loblolly pine, its use, ecology, regen- 
eration, protection, growth, and management. Durham, School of For- 
estry, Duke University, 1960. 603 p. $7.00. 

Washburn, Benjamin Earle. As I recall. New York, Rockefeller Founda- 
tion, 1960. 183 p. 

Fine Arts 

Brown, Robert J. Science circus. New York, Fleet Publishing Corpora- 
tion, 1960. 253 p. $4.50. 

Coble, Hazel M. History of the North Carolina federation of music clubs. 
Burlington, [Author?], 1961. 83 p. 

Lovelace, Austin Cole. Music and worship in the church, by Austin C. 
Lovelace and William C. Rice. New York, Abingdon Press, 1960. 220 p. 
$4.00. 

Wiley, William Leon. The early public theatre in France. Cambridge, 
Harvard University Press, 1960. 326 p. $6.75. 

Poetry 

Dunn, Millard C. Foothills, poems. New York, Exposition Press, 1960. 

93 p. $2.00. 
Jarrell, Randall. The woman at the Washington Zoo. New York, Athe- 

neum, 1960. 65 p. $3.75. 
McGirt, William Archibald, Jr. I am the snakehandler, by Will Inman 

[pseud.'] Cresent City, Fla., New Athenaeum Press, 1960. 17 p. 
Lament and psalm, by Will Inman [pseud.'] Crescent City, Fla., 

New Athenaeum Press, 1960. 21 p. 
River of laughter, by Will Inman [pseud.] New York, [Author ?, 



1961.] 65 p. 
Pearson, James Larkin. Selected poems, edited with an introduction by 

Walter Blackstock. Charlotte, McNally, 1960. 68 p. $2.75. 
Roberson, Maybell Everette. Windows of life, poems and drawings. 

New York, Exposition Press, 1961. 62 p. $3.00. 
Sandburg, Carl. Wind song. 3 New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1960. 127 p. 

$3.00. 
Sossamon, Leroy. Falling sky. Bryson City, The Village Press, 1961. 112 p. 

$1.50. 

Drama 

Robinson, William H., Jr. The gadfly, the trial and death of Socrates, an 
original two-act play in blank verse. Greensboro, [Author?], 1961. 32 p. 
$1.50. 



Winner of the Roanoke- Chowan Award for poetry, 1961. 



North Carolina Bibliography 215 



Fiction 4 



Binnicker, Dana Pell. Blue moon over Cashiers Valley. Charleston, 

S. C, Nelsons' Southern Printing & Publishing Co., 1960. 328 p. $3.95. 
Blythe, LeGette. Hear me, Pilate ! New York, Holt, Rinehart and Win- 
ston, 1961. 347 p. $4.95. 
Burgess, Jackson. The atrocity. New York, Putnam, 1961. 256 p. $3.95. 
Carroll, Ruth Robinson. Tough Enough's Indians, by Ruth and Latrobe 

Carroll. New York, H. Z. Walck, 1960. 64 p. $2.95. 
Cotton, Ella Earls. Queen of Persia, the story of Esther who saved her 

people. New York, Exposition Press, 1960. 150 p. $3.00. 
Green, Anne M. To race again. New York, Thomas Nelson, 1961. 195 p. 

$2.95. 
Hanes, Frank Borden. The fleet rabble, a novel of the Nez Perce War. 5 

New York, L. C. Page, 1961. 368 p. $4.95. 
Hardy, William M. Year of the rose. New York, Dodd, Mead, 1960. 243 p. 

$3.50. 
Hoffmann, Margaret Jones. The wild rocket. Philadelphia, Westminster 

Press, 1960. 172 p. $2.95. 
Leonard, Burgess. Stretch Bolton's rookies. Philadelphia, Lippincott, 

1961. 190 p. $2.95. 
Mark, Christopher Charles. Run away home. New York, Duell, Sloan 

and Pearce, 1960. 241 p. $3.25. 
Newbold, Herbert Leon. 1/3 of an inch of French bread. New York, 

Crowell, 1961. 243 p. $3.95. 
Nolan, Jeannette Covert. Spy for the Confederacy, Rose O'Neal Green- 
how. New York, J. Messner, 1960. 192 p. $2.95. 
Rounds, Glen. Whitey's first roundup. New York, Holiday House, 1960. 

94 p. $2.50. 
Slaughter, Frank Gill. Epidemic! Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday, 1961. 

286 p. $3.95. 
Speas, Jan Cox. My love, my enemy. New York, Morrow, 1961. 286 p. 

$3.75. 
Steele, William O. The spooky thing. New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1960. 

80 p. $2.75. 
Street, Julia Montgomery. Drovers' gold. New York, Dodd, Mead, 1961. 

158 p. $3.00. 
Tarbox, Lela Prescott. The sign in the dust. New York, Carlton Press, 

1960. 231 p. $3.50. 
Turner, William Oliver. The treasure of Fan-Tan Flat. New York, 

Doubleday, 1961. 189 p. $2.95. 
Van Den Honert, Dorothy Johnson. Demi, the baby sitter, by Dorry 

Van Den Honert. New York, Morrow, 1961. unpaged. $2.75. 
Wechter, Nell Wise. Betsy Dowdy's ride. Winston-Salem, J. F. Blair, 

1960. 173 p. $2.95. 
Wellman, Manly Wade. Candle of the wicked. New York, Putnam, 1960. 

317 p. $3.95. 



4 By a North Carolinian or with the scene laid in North Carolina. 

5 Winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for fiction, 1961. 



216 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Third string center. New York, I. Washburn, 1960. 149 p. $2.95. 



Wicker, Tom. The judgment. New York, W. Sloane Associates, 1961. 

275 p. $3.75. 
Wolfe, Thomas. Short novels. Edited, with an introduction and notes, 

by C. Hugh Holman. New York, Scribner, 1961. 323 p. $4.50. 
Woltz, Claude Bernard. The cry of a bastard. New York, Greenwich 

Book Publishers, 1960. 299 p. $3.50. 

Literature, Other Than Poetry, Drama, or Fiction 

Bryant, Joseph Allen. Hippolyta's view, some Christian aspects of 

Shakespeare's plays. Lexington, University of Kentucky Press, 1961. 

239 p. $6.50. 
Coxe, Emily Badham. Mother of the maid, by Emily Badham Coxe and 

Frances Warfield. New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1960. 223 p. 

$3.95. 
Harper, George Mills. The neoplatonism of William Blake. Chapel Hill, 

University of North Carolina Press, 1961. 324 p. $7.50. 
Herrick, Marvin Theodore. Italian comedy in the Renaissance. Urbana, 

University of Illinois Press, 1960. 238 p. $4.50. 
McKean, Keith F. The moral measure of literature. Denver, Colorado, 

Alan Swallow, 1961. 137 p. $3.00. 
Stem, Thad, Jr. The animal fair. Charlotte, McNally, 1960. 112 p. $3.00. 

Genealogy 

Cable, Maurice L. William Gudger, Revolutionary War soldier and pio- 
neer, by Maurice L. and Sue G. Cable. [Asheville, Authors?, I960.] 30 p. 
$2.00. 

Hood, Dellmann Osborne. The Tunis Hood family, its lineage and tradi- 
tions. Portland, Oregon, Metropolitan Press, 1960. 602 p. 

Muse, Amy. Grandpa was a whaler, a story of Carteret Chad wicks. New 
Bern, Owen G. Dunn Co., 1961. 126 p. $4.00. 

History and Travel 

Brown, Joseph Parsons. The commonwealth of Onslow. New Bern, 
Owen G. Dunn, Co., 1960. 434 p. $4.25. 

Cartwright, William Holman, editor. Interpreting and teaching Amer- 
ican history, William H. Cartwright and Richard L. Watson, Jr., co- 
editors. Washington, National Council for the Social Studies, 1961. 
430 p. $5.00. 

Cope, Robert F. The County of Gaston, two centuries of a North Caro- 
lina region, by Robert F. Cope and Manly Wade Wellman. Gastonia, 
Gaston County Historical Society, 1961. 274 p. $7.50. 

Davis, Burke. Our incredible Civil War. New York, Holt, Rinehart and 
Winston, 1960. 249 p. $3.95. 

Gibson, John Mendinghall. Those 163 days, a southern account of Sher- 
man's march from Atlanta to Raleigh. New York, Coward-McCann, 
1961. 317 p. $5.75. 



North Carolina Bibliography 217 

Gulick, John. Cherokees at the crossroads. Chapel Hill, Institute for Re- 
search in Social Science, University of North Carolina, 1960. 202 p. 
$2.00. 

Higham, Robin David Stewart. Britain's imperial air routes, 1918 to 
1939. The story of Britain's overseas airlines. London, G. T. Foulis & 
Co., 1960. 407 p. 42/. 

Johnson, Gerald White. The man who feels left behind. New York, 
Morrow, 1961. 170 p. $4.00. 

Lefler, Hugh Talmage, editor. A history of the United States, from the 
age of exploration to 1865. New York, Meridian Books, 1960. 410 p. 
$1.55. 

Link, Arthur Stanley. Wilson: the struggle for neutrality, 1914-1915. 
Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1960. 736 p. $10.00. 

McCoy, Charles Allan. Polk and the Presidency. Austin, University of 
Texas Press, 1960. 238 p. $4.50. 

McNitt, Virgil V. Chain of error, and the Mecklenburg declarations of 
independence. Palmer, Mass., Hampden Hills Press, 1960. 134 p. $4.50. 

Marsh, Kenneth Frederick. Historic Flat Kock, where the old South 
lingers. Photographs by Kenneth Frederick Marsh, text by Blanche 
Marsh. Asheville, Biltmore Press, 1961. 84 p. $3.00. 

Price, William H. The Civil War Centennial handbook, 1861-1865-1961- 
1965. Arlington, Va., Prince Lithograph Co., 1961. 72 p. $1.00. 

Raynor, George. Sketches of old Rowan. Stories by George Raynor, ink 
sketches by Aubrey Atkinson. Salisbury, Salisbury Chapter of Ameri- 
can Association of University Women, 1960. Unpaged. $2.50. 

Roberts, Bruce. Harper's Ferry in pictures. Charlotte, McNally, 1960. 
unpaged. $2.95. 

Robinson, Blackwell Pierce. Battles and engagements of the American 
Revolution in North Carolina. Raleigh, Lafayette Chapters, Daughters 
of the Revolution, 1961. 23 p. .25f 

Seeman, Elizabeth. In the arms of the mountain, an intimate journal of 
the Great Smokies. New York, Crown Publishers, 1961. 251 p. $4.00. 

Sellers, Charles Grier, editor. The southerner as American. Chapel Hill, 
University of North Carolina Press, 1960. 216 p. $5.00. 

Tucker, Glenn. Chickamauga: bloody battle in the West. Indianapolis, 
Bobbs-Merrill, 1961. 448 p. $6.00. 

Walker, Alexander McDonald, editor. New Hanover Court minutes, 
Part 3, 1786-1793. Bethesda, Md., Alexander M. Walker, 1960. 121 p. 
$5.00. 

Wellman, Manly Wade. Harpers Ferry, prize of war. Charlotte, Mc- 
Nally of Charlotte, 1960. 183 p. $3.50. 

Windler, Penny Nichols. Placid, a collection of authentic tales center- 
ing around Placid Plantation, Person and Granville Counties, North 
Carolina, during the period 1861 through 1865. Warwick, Va., High- 
Iron Publishers, 1961. 73 p. $3.00. 

Autobiography and Biography 

Briggs, John. Leonard Bernstein, the man, his work, and his world. Cleve- 
land, World Publishing Co., 1961. 274 p. $4.50. 



218 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Burnett, Fred M. This was my valley. Ridgecrest, [Author?], 1960. 198 p. 
$3.50. 

Camp, Cordelia. Governor Vance, a life for young people. Asheville, Ste- 
phens Press, 1961. 58 p. $2.50. 

Daniels, Jonathan. Robert E. Lee. Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1960. 184 p. 
$2.80. 

Thomas Wolfe, October recollections. Columbia, S. C, Bostick 

& Thornley, 1961. 26 p. $3.50. 

Gatewood, Willard B., Jr. Eugene Clyde Brooks, educator and public 
servant. Durham, Duke University Press, 1960. 279 p. $6.00. 

Graham, William Alexander. The papers of William Alexander Gra- 
ham, edited by J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton. Vol. III. Raleigh, State De- 
partment of Archives and History, 1960. 541 p. $3.00. 

Hanna, David. Ava, a portrait of a star. New York, Putnam, 1960. 256 p. 
$3.95. 

Orr, Oliver Hamilton. Charles Brantley Aycock. Chapel Hill, University 
of North Carolina Press, 1961. 394 p. $7.50. 

Ruark, Robert Chester. The Old Man's boy grows older. New York, Holt, 
Rinehart and Winston, 1961. 302 p. $4.95. 

Turner, Arlin. Nathaniel Hawthorne, an introduction and interpretation. 
New York, Barnes & Noble, 1961. 149 p. $1.00. 

Vine, Louis L. Dogs in my life, by Louis L. Vine, with Ina Forbus. New 
York, Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1961. 277 p. $3.95. 

Walser, Richard Gaither. Thomas Wolfe, an introduction and interpre- 
tation. New York, Barnes & Noble, 1961. 152 p. $1.25. 

Wheaton, Mable Wolfe. Thomas Wolfe and his family, by Mable Wolfe 
Wheaton, with LeGette Blythe. 6 Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday, 1961. 
336 p. $4.95. 

New Editions and Reprints 

Appalachian Trail Conference. Guide to the Appalachian Trail in the 
Southern Appalachians. 4th ed. Washington, Appalachian Trail Con- 
ference, 1960. Various paging. $3.75. 

Davis, Burke. To Appomattox, nine April days, 1865. New York, Popular 
Library, 1960. 383 p. .75f 

Frankel, Ernest. Band of brothers. New York, New American Library 
of World Literature, 1960. 288 p. .50^. 

Hall, Clement. A collection of many Christian experiences, sentences, 
and several places of Scripture improved. With an introduction by Wil- 
liam S. Powell. Raleigh, State Department of Archives and History, 
1961. 25, 51 p. $2.00. 

Hardy, William M. The case of the missing coed. New York, Dell Pub- 
lishing Co., 1960. 160 p. .35^. 

Hawks, Francis Lister. History of North Carolina. [Spartanburg, S. C, 
Reprint Company, 1961.] 2 vols. $8.00; $12.50. 

Heads of families at the first census of the United States taken in the year 
1790. [Spartanburg, S. C, Reprint Co., 1961.] 292 p. $8.00. 



Winner of the Mayflower Award for nonfiction, 1961. 



North Carolina Bibliography 219 

McCullers, Carson Smith. Reflections in a golden eye. New York, Ban- 
tam Books, 1961. Ill p. .50^. 

Newman, William Stein. Understanding music. New York, Harper, 
1961. 330 p. $6.00. 

Pearson, Thomas Gilbert. Birds of North Carolina, by Thomas Gilbert 
Pearson, Clement S. Brimley, and Herbert H. Brimley. Raleigh, North 
Carolina Department of Agriculture, State Museum Division, 1959. 
[Issued I960.] 434 p. $5.00. 

Pierson, William Whatley, Jr., editor. Whipt 'em everytime, the diary 
of Bartlett Yancey Malone. Jackson, Tenn., McCowat-Mercer Press, 
1960. 131 p. $3.95. 

Porter, William Sydney. The complete works of O. Henry [pseud.'] . Gar- 
den City, N. Y., Doubleday, 1960. 1,692 p. $5.95. 

Ruark, Robert Chester. Poor no more. Greenwich, Conn., Fawcett Pub- 
lications, 1960. 832 p. .75^. 

Sharp, Cecil J. English folk songs from the Southern Appalachians, by 
Cecil J. Sharp and Olive Dame Campbell. London, Oxford University 
Press, 1960. 2 vols, in 1. $15.00. 

Slaughter, Frank Gill. The deadly lady of Madagascar, by C. V. Terry 
[pseud.] New York, Permabooks, 1960. 231 p. .35^. 

Lorena. New York, Permabooks, 1960. 233 p. .35f 

The thorn of Arimathea. New York, Permabooks, 1960. 292 p. 

.50^. 

Sparks, Elizabeth Hedgecock. North Carolina and Old Salem cookery. 
Kernersville, [Author], 1960. 269 p. $3.50. 

Spence, Thomas Hugh. The Historical Foundation and its treasures. 
Montreat, Historical Foundation of the Presbyterian Church, 1960. 
171 p. 

Strange, Robert. Eoneguski, or The Cherokee chief. Foreword by Rich- 
ard Walser. Charlotte, McNally, 1960. 2 vols, in 1. $4.95. 

Styron, William. Set this house on fire. New York, New American Li- 
brary of World Literature, 1961. 480 p. .95f 

Truett, George Washington. "Follow thou Me." Nashville, Tenn., 
Broadman Press, 1961. 241 p. $1.50. 

A quest for souls. Grand Rapids, Mich., Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub- 
lishing Co., 1961. 379 p. $2.45. 

Wolfe, Thomas Clayton. The web and the rock, with an introduction 
by Richard Chase. New York, Dell Publishing Co., 1960. 736 p. .95^. 

You can't go home again, with an introduction by Richard 

Chase. New York, Dell Publishing Co., 1960. 671 p. .95^. 



BOOK REVIEWS 

History of North Carolina. By Francis Lister Hawks. (Spartanburg, South 
Carolina: Reprint Company [Reprint of the original printed by E. J. 
Hale and Son, Fayetteville, 1857 and 1859], 2 volumes, 1961. [Volume 
I] Pp. 254; [Volume II] Pp. 591. [Volume I] $8.00; [Volume II] 
$12.50.) 

Francis Lister Hawks ( 1798-1866) was born at New Bern, graduated 
at the University of North Carolina in 1815 with first honors, studied 
law under Judge William Gaston, and later attended the famous law 
school of Tapping Reeve and James Gould at Litchfield, Connecticut. 
He was a very successful lawyer and from 1820 to 1826 was reporter 
of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. He abandoned the legal pro- 
fession in 1826 and studied theology. He was ordained a deacon in 
1827 and a priest of the Episcopal Church two years later. In 1830 
he was made professor of divinity at Washington [now Trinity] Col- 
lege at Hartford. In 1831 he became rector of St. Stephens and later 
of St. Thomas, New York City, and held the latter post until 1843. In 
1835 the General Convention of the Episcopal Church appointed him 
to collect material on the history of the Anglican Church in the col- 
onies, and he went to England and brought back a great mass of 
materials, some of which he edited. In 1844 Hawks became rector of 
Christ Church at New Orleans and was elected first president of the 
University of Louisiana. In 1846 he volunteered to become professor 
of history at the University of North Carolina, but the chair was not 
established. He then went to New York, where he lived until 1862, 
when he went to Christ Church, Baltimore. Three years later he was 
back in New York. 

Hawks was an omnivorous reader and a prolific writer. For some 
time he was editor of Appletons Cyclopedia of Biography, he wrote 
books for children, he published studies dealing with such varied 
subjects as the monuments of Egypt and Peruvian antiquities, and he 
edited works in church history. 

Hawks had the broadest scholarship and highest literary attainments 
of any of the nineteenth-century historians of North Carolina. His 
formal training was far superior to that of his predecessors (Hugh 
Williamson, F. X. Martin, and John H. Wheeler) and his researches 



Book Reviews 221 

were more extensive. He also had the advantage of being able to use 
materials collected by George Bancroft, documents on church history 
which he had collected himself, and historical records in the State 
which were being brought together and put in usable condition. His 
two-volume History of North Carolina was of high literary quality, 
scholarly, original, and, according to a competent contemporary re- 
viewer, "remarkably accurate and sound." His style was clear, forceful, 
and at times eloquent, but he tended to be bombastic at times. He 
wrote with the dogmatic authority of a pulpit orator, which he was. 

The most striking feature of Volume One of Hawks is to be found 
in the reprint of many rare and valuable documents, such as the 
Raleigh charter of 1584, Barlowe's narrative, the account of the Gren- 
ville expedition, and Thomas Hariot's narrative. He said that "the use 
of documents constantly diminished as he travelled upward through 
the story, because of the diminished necessity of reprinting that which, 
beside being generally known, is easily accessible in other forms/' 

Hawks' second volume covered the political, social, and economic 
history of the Proprietary Period (1663-1729). Following a topical 
rather than the chronological plan used by his predecessors he had 
chapters, always accompanied by documents, on law and its adminis- 
tration, agriculture and manufactures, navigation and trade, religion 
and learning, civil and military history, manners and customs. In fact, 
he devoted a larger proportion of his book to social, economic, and cul- 
tural history than any of the general historians before— or after his 
day. 

Hawks believed that the real history of a State was to be found in 
"the gradual progress of its people in intelligence, refinement, industry, 
wealth, taste, civilization, &c." He admitted that his history was a labor 
of love, but that his primary concern had been to tell the truth. He 
endeavored to "enliven the dullness and relieve the quaintness of these 
worthy old chroniclers by such notes and remarks as may serve to link 
pleasantly together the past with the present." 

The original edition of the Hawks history has been out of print for 
almost a century. Copies of it are extremely difficult to come by. The 
Reprint Company is to be congratulated for a splendid job of reproduc- 
ing this important publication and making it available to those who 
are interested in the early history of North Carolina. 

Hugh T. Lefler. 
The University of North Carolina. 



222 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The Highland Scots of North Carolina, 1732-1776. By Duane Meyer. 
(Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. [1961.] Notes, 
maps, figures, and index. Pp. xii, 218. $6.00.) 

This is an important work. It tells in interesting detail the story of 
the largest Scottish Highlander settlement in America prior to the 
Revolution. Professor Meyer denies explicitly the long held belief that 
large numbers of Highlanders came to North Carolina immediately 
after the Battle of Culloden Moor to escape Hanoverian persecution 
and to achieve pardon for their support of the Stuarts. Rather, he 
shows that immigration after the Forty-five did not really get underway 
until 1749 and developed slowly until the early 1770's. Moreover, the 
true motives for this migration were changes in agricultural practices 
in the Highlands which produced rack rents and frequent evictions, 
the decay of the clan system, and overpopulation. 

The denial of the exile theory of Highland settlement makes less 
baffling what has been a major mystery in North Carolina history. Why 
did so many of the Highlanders who had fought so ardently against 
the House of Hanover in the Fifteen and the Forty-five become Loyal- 
ists upon the outbreak of the American Revolution? The answer to 
this, Meyer contends, lies in the conciliation which the British had 
effected with the Highlanders since the dark days of Culloden, the 
land grant policy of Governor Josiah Martin, the fear of British re- 
prisal, and the influence of retired Highlander officers in North 
Carolina. 

The finest portion of this work is that which describes the when 
and where of the Highlander settlements in North Carolina. This 
presents an excellent example of the use to which dry as dust land 
records can be put in writing readable history. 

Herbert R. Paschal, Jr. 
East Carolina College. 



The Age of Orange: Political and Intellectual Leadership in North Caro- 
lina, 1752-1861. By Ruth Blackwelder. (Charlotte: William Loftin, 
Publisher. 1961. Illustrations, notes, bibliography, and index. Pp. xi, 
216. $4.95.) 

The hundreds of frustrated scholars who hope that some day they 
will find time to turn their boxes of notes into a published volume 
should take heart from Miss Blackwelder's success in producing a book 



Book Reviews 223 

)ut of research done twenty or more years ago. The greatest hazard 
)f such delay is that in the meantime someone else will come out 
vith a book on the same subject, and that is exactly what has hap- 
Dened here; in 1953 Hugh Lefler and Paul Wager edited a collabora- 
te history of Orange County, to which Miss Blackwelder herself 
contributed. 

This book differs from its predecessor in doing both more and less 
han the 1953 work. On the one hand, it is much less comprehensive, 
is the subtitle implies; it confines itself to politics, schools, and news- 
Dapers, and stops at 1861. On the positive side, it is based on more 
extensive research than the hurried book of 1953. Miss Blackwelder 
las combed the official records, both printed and manuscript, as well 
is private papers, she has read the surviving newspaper files, and she 
las studied the pertinent works of other scholars, even including mas- 
ers' theses, down to 1942. Footnotes and bibliography make this in- 
ormation readily available to others working in the same field. The 
tuthor's failure to organize the accumulated facts into a meaningful 
;tory, however, makes the book difficult going for the average reader, 
vho will prefer the Lefler-Wager history. 

Marvin W. Schlegel. 
Longwood College. 



± New Geography of North Carolina. Volume III. By Bill Sharpe. (Ra- 
leigh: Sharpe Publishing Company. 1961. Pp. 1,115-1,680. Maps, illus- 
trations, and index. $6.00.) 

This is another of those books which ought to be owned, used, or at 
east known about by everyone interested in North Carolina. 

As in the first two volumes, Bill Sharpe has brought together in one 
rinding his articles on various counties as previously published in 
The State. Volume III contains reprints of the articles on the counties 
)f Anson, Bladen, Catawba, Chowan, Cleveland, Craven, Cumberland, 
Uurrituck, Edgecombe, Graham, Harnett, Jackson, Lenoir, Lincoln, 
Vlacon, Madison, Montgomery, Northampton, Pamlico, Pender, Polk, 
Sampson, Stanly, Surry, Washington, and Yancey. 

It is easy to criticize a book of this sort for not being what it should 
)e. But since the author makes no claim for the book as an authoritative 
ind exhaustive history ( or geography ) of the counties covered, it must 
3e judged only on the author's purpose. As an interesting and readable 



224 The North Carolina Historical Review 

sketch of each county, he has accomplished that purpose with distinc- 
tion. 

Contained in the twenty-six chapters are many of the highlights 
of the history of the various counties, along with anecdotes, place 
names, character sketches of prominent personages, and statistics on 
agriculture, manufacturing, and population. Many interesting tidbits 
that would have eluded a professional historian have been included. 

The articles deserve a better map than the small highway map 
cutouts used in the book. A full-page map for each county containing 
the names of streams and small settlements mentioned in the text 
would have increased the value immeasurably. 

These volumes may perpetuate some myths, but viewed as a collec- 
tion of readable and interesting articles on the various counties, they 
are a welcome addition to the still meager but slowly growing litera- 
ture on North Carolina counties. 

H. G. Jones. 
State Department of Archives and History. 



A Goodly Heritage. By Emma Woodward MacMillan. (Wilmington: 
Privately printed. 1961. Illustrated. Pp. 105.) 

The reminiscing of a good storyteller adds something of infinite 
variety and value to the written history of a family or of a town. This 
little volume is just such an effort by a good storyteller, and what 
Mrs. MacMillan— "Miss Emma" to several generations of public library 
users in Wilmington— has written here is a real help in the understand- 
ing of Wilmington's past. 

The memories, of course, are of most interest to those of her own 
family. But there is in them a flavor which would be of help to any 
outsider trying to understand something of the Wilmington of the 
turn of the century. She covers a variety of subjects, the big race riot, 
Hemenway school, the keeping of Sundays, and Front Street. 

Herbert O'Keef. 
Raleigh. 



Book Reviews 225 

A Condensed History of Flat Rock. By Sadie Smathers Patton. (Asheville: 
Church Printing Company. 1961. Illustrations. Pp. 73. $3.00.) 

In this unpretentious book, Sadie Smathers Patton, one of the most 
knowledgeable students of western North Carolina history, has re- 
counted with affection and authority the story of the Flat Rock com- 
munity in Henderson County. 

The story begins in the fourth decade of the last century when the 
first visitors from the Charleston region built their summer homes 
and established an enclave in what was then a frontier region. 

It ends a half-century later when Flat Rock began to lose its Charles- 
ton make-up and flavor. By that time many of the old homes had 
passed out of the ownership of the families which had built them 
originally and the coming of the railroad was opening up all of the 
mountain region to permanent residents and summer visitors. 

At the peak of its provincial glory, Flat Rock was truly a "little 
Charleston in the mountains." Its summer residents were drawn from 
the most prominent families of the Low Country. Here they came by 
stage coaches or carriages, bringing with them their servants, their 
social distinctions, and their spacious ways of life. They even built their 
own church, "St. John in the Wilderness," where they worshipped and 
buried their dead. 

A Condensed History of Flat Rock is the harvest of long and pains- 
taking research. It possesses the supreme merit of accuracy and rep- 
resents a valuable contribution to local history. 

D. Hiden Ramsey. 
Asheville. 



The School of Pharmacy of the University of North Carolina : A History. 
By Alice Noble. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 
1961. Illustrations, notes, appendixes, and index. Pp. viii, 237. $5.00.) 

A brief introduction relates the pharmacists of North Carolina and 
the University of North Carolina to the great self-impelled drive of 
American pharmacists to raise the legal and educational standards of 
their ancient and honorable profession. North Carolina followed the 
national pattern by establishing the School of Pharmacy of the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina in 1897, after two unsuccessful experiments 
with private schools. 

The history proper follows the evolution of this tiny but sound one- 
man, one-room beginning through depressions, wars, and political 



226 The North Carolina Historical Review 

changes to its present status: (1) one of the finest and best-equipped 
buildings in the nation; (2) a nationally distinguished faculty; (3) 
instruction up to the best national standards at both the undergrad- 
uate and graduate levels; (4) research fostered by the unique North 
Carolina Pharmaceutical Research Foundation. A healthy profession 
and a healthy university mutually aid each other. 

The chapters are organized around the successive deans of the 
school. The tremendous and dedicated efforts of the pharmacists and 
the school are related in a discerning chapter of political analysis, 
Pharmacy Licensure Legislation. The work is thoroughly documented, 
enriched with pertinent appendixes, attractively illustrated, and 
superbly indexed. The historian has lived with the subject intimately 
since 1921, serving both the school and the profession as secretary, 
librarian, archivist, editor; and she continues at present as Historian 
of the North Carolina Pharmaceutical Research Foundation. 

The book is sound history of pharmacy, education, the University 
of North Carolina, and of North Carolina. The full tide of the com- 
monwealth flows through the story in the best tradition of Battle, 
Henderson, and Wilson. Alice Noble is a workman worthy of her 
history-minded father, M. C. S. Noble. 

R. B. House. 

The University of North Carolina. 



The Historical Foundation and Its Treasures. By Thomas Hugh Spence, 
Jr. (Montreat; Historical Foundation Publications. 1960. Pp. xii, 171. 
Revised edition.) 

"The object of an institution such as the Historical Foundation is 
to enable one to show appreciation of, to profit from, and to enhance 
the heritage passed down from the fathers of the flesh and of the faith/' 
These are the words Thomas Hugh Spence, Jr., uses to rationalize the 
existence of the Historical Foundation, the historical agency of the 
Presbyterian Church in the United States. And of history, Mr. Spence 
says that "the Christian interpretation of history lies in the idea of 
time as having been both tempered and transformed by the specific 
entrance of the Eternal. Herein lies the key to the understanding of all 
history; for, from the standpoint of the Christian, there is in reality 
no such thing as secular history." 

Thus the Historical Foundation which this book describes is in the 
eyes of its author, who is also the Director of the Foundation, not only 
dedicated to history but to church history. 



Book Reviews 227 

The Historical Foundation and Its Treasures describes the record 
of the origin, growth, resources, and work of the Historical Founda- 
tion. It does this under the headings of history, home, and holdings. 
Just as documents that are the sources for historians have interesting 
histories themselves, so this depository, recognized as one of the finest 
church archives in the nation, has an interesting history. This institu- 
tion, like most that have consequence, came into being as the result of 
the dreams, hard work, and generosity of many people. Dr. Spence 
records the struggles of Samuel Mills Tenny, founder of the Historical 
Foundation, in gathering the materials and the equally important 
support necessary for making his dream of a permanent depository a 
reality. From the first location in a bank vault in Texarkana, Texas, 
to the modern Historical Foundation building at Montreat, North 
Carolina, was a long trek which is described interestingly and with 
numerous references to the contributions of the many who helped along 
the way. 

The present home of the Foundation is discussed in Part II and 
plans, preparations, physical equipment, and the problems and 
"pleasures" of building are described in considerable detail. 

Part III, "Holdings," is the heart of the matter for researchers. The 
author points out that the nature of Presbyterian church government, 
with the gradations of session, presbytery, synod, and general as- 
sembly, and the dependence of one of these bodies on the records of 
another in the event of an appeal, resulted in the creation of a large 
body of records. The fact that these records have been preserved and 
are being preserved is due to the foresight and perseverance of the 
past and present directors of the Historical Foundation. 

In addition to the official archives of the Presbyterian Church in 
the United States, the Foundation has accepted the responsibility for 
collecting books, especially Bibles, religious papers, and journals. This 
volume performs a real service in listing the holdings in the Foundation 
of these numerous journalistic endeavors, and in tracing the 
chronology of the journals and papers as they merged or split apart. 
Certainly the Foundation has performed a real service to all historians 
by collecting and preserving this material that in all likelihood would 
not have been preserved by any other library or archival agency. One 
of the most valuable features is the Appendix, which lists a substantial 
portion of the records and minutes to be found in the Historical Foun- 
dation. 

Cyrus B. King. 

State Department of Archives and History. 



228 The North Carolina Historical Review 

A Woman Rice Planter. By Patience Pennington. Edited by Cornelius 0. 
Cathey. (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University 
Press. 1961. Introduction, footnotes, and illustrations. Pp. xxxiii, 446. 
$6.00.) 

Another in the distinguished series of John Harvard Library reprints, 
this volume is the four-year diary of an indomitable South Carolinian 
who attempted to cultivate rice in the Low Country long after rice 
growing had been generally abandoned there. The diary was written 
between 1903 and 1906, and the book was apparently published orig- 
inally in 1913. "Patience Pennington" was Elizabeth Waties Allston 
Pringle, widow of John Julius Pringle and daughter of Robert Francis 
Withers Allston. Strong sentimental attachment led her to purchase, 
on credit, one plantation that had belonged to her husband's family 
and a second that was about to be sold to settle her own family's estate. 
Circumstances of economics, of sociology, and of nature militated 
against the success of her venture, but the force of tradition proved 
powerful; her father, once the governor of South Carolina, had been 
one of the largest and most successful of the ante-bellum rice planters, 
and both her mother and grandmother in widowhood had played the 
role of woman rice planter. 

Patience Pennington's diary records with straightforward simplicity 
her heroic struggle to revive rice cultivation on White House and 
Chicora Wood plantations near Georgetown. More than this, the 
diary is an unconscious tribute to the human spirit as it reveals, day 
by day and season by season, the manner in which a cultured and 
sensitive yet practical and energetic lady of sixty faced the problems, 
emergencies, sorrows, joys, rewards, and satisfactions of her unusual 
situation. Widowed and childless, "Miss Pashuns" served as planta- 
tion manager, legal adviser, nurse, disciplinarian, confidante, angel 
of mercy, Sunday School teacher, and church organist to the many 
Negroes in her employ— most of them descendants of her father's 
slaves. The book is especially interesting in its account of her relation- 
ships with the Negroes and in its sharp delineation of their personali- 
ties. Eighty-six drawings by Alice R. Huger Smith add to the reader's 
pleasure. 

Professor Cornelius O. Cathey of the University of North Carolina, 
a specialist in agricultural history, has written an informative introduc- 
tion of twenty-two pages. In it he sketches the broad outline of rice 
culture in South Carolina from its beginning until 1906, when Patience 
Pennington, for reasons quite beyond her control, was compelled to 
give up her grand enterprise. Particular attention is paid to the ac- 



Book Reviews 229 

complishments of Robert Allston and, of course, to the early career of 
his daughter. Professor Cathey accurately assesses the diary when he 
says: "Patience Pennington in her narrative succeeds in presenting 
accounts of even commonplace events, developments, and persons 
with vividness equal to that of the good artist who embodies his im- 
pressions on canvas. . . . Nearly every facet of her character is revealed 
by the tenderness, sympathy, and modesty with which she treats her 
subjects." And the publisher is correct in referring to A Woman Rice 
Planter as "this classic of Southern life." 



Stuart Noblin. 



North Carolina State College. 



Van Meteren's Virginia, 1607-1612. By John Parker. (Minneapolis: Uni- 
versity of Minnesota Press. 1961. Notes and index. Pp. x, 102. $5.00.) 

Emanuel van Meteren, Dutch historian and consul to Antwerp 
merchants in London from 1583 until his death in 1612, wrote a His- 
tory of the Netherlands that was first published in 1593 and went 
through several editions in both German and Dutch both before and 
after his death. Resident in London in an age when strong commercial, 
cultural, and military ties bound the English and Dutch closely to- 
gether, Van Meteren devoted considerable attention to the story of 
Anglo-Dutch overseas expansion and was particularly interested in 
England's experiment in Virginia. In the handsome little book under 
review, John Parker, Curator of the James Ford Bell Collection of the 
University of Minnesota Library, reprints from the History an Eng- 
lish translation of the sections on the Virginia enterprise from its in- 
ception until Van Meteren's death as well as the accounts of Henry 
Hudson's explorations and the initial settlement of Bermuda, weaving 
them into the more comprehensive tale of Anglo-Dutch friendship and 
co-operation in their mutual rivalry with Spain. Although the sections 
from the History add a few new details to the Virginia story, this book 
is mainly interesting as a study of the extent of Dutch interest and in- 
volvement in the origins of the English overseas empire and as a suc- 
cessful attempt to put the founding of Virginia in its proper interna- 
tional setting. 

Jack P. Greene. 

Institute of Early American History and Culture, 

Williamsburg, Virginia. 



230 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The Poems of Charles Hansford. Edited by James A. Servies and Carl R. 
Dolmetsch. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 
Published for the Virginia Historical Society. Virginia Historical Society 
Documents, Volume I. 1961. Frontispiece, appendixes, and notes. Pp. 
xlv, 95. $5.00.) 

"A Clumsey Attempt of an Old Man to turn Some of his serious 
Thoughts into Verse." These words with which Charles Hansford pre- 
faced his poems disarm criticism, especially when the reader knows 
that the old man was a blacksmith, largely self-educated, who wrote 
the verses about the middle of the eighteenth century. Of him an ad- 
miring friend wrote: "His life was innocent, his conversation cheerful, 
his manners modest and obliging/' 

The manuscript of the four poems— Of Body and Soul, Some Reflec- 
tions on My Past Life and the Numberless Mercies Receivd from My 
Maker, Barzillai, and My Country's Worth, about 2,000 lines in all- 
was preserved by this admiring friend, Benjamin Waller. He also 
affixed to the manuscript a biographical sketch and two laudatory 
poems, one of them his own. 

In the stiff iambic pentameter couplets, the form in which virtually 
all serious poetry of the nineteenth century was written, the reader is 
impressed with the dullness rather than the clumsiness of the poems. 
Nevertheless in them one occasionally catches charming glimpses of 
the cheerful piety of the old man. He wrote to "sprightly youth" con- 
cerning the loquacity of age, 

And now, young man, let an old man beseech 
You not to laugh at us till you do reach 
To our age and, then, if you think fit, 
You have my leave to laugh till you do split! 

Contemplating the approach of death, he wrote, 

Great God, let me but in Thy favor die; 
I am not careful where my bones do lie! 

and again, 

Great God, give me Thy Grace, let me live so 
That "Come!" may be my sentence and not "Go!" 

The full introduction, the copious notes, which show careful research 
worthy of a historical society, together with the excellent binding, 
paper, and print would undoubtedly have delighted the heart of 
Charles Hansford. 

Mary Lynch Johnson. 

Meredith College. 



Book Reviews 231 

My Dearest Polly: Letters of Chief Justice John Marshall to His Wife, 
with Their Background, Political and Domestic, 1779-1831. By Frances 
Norton Mason. (Richmond: Garrett & Massie, Incorporated. 1961. Illus- 
trations, genealogical tables, notes, and index. Pp. xiv, 386. $5.00.) 

My Dearest Polly is a clever title but a misnomer. The subtitle, in- 
dicating that the letters from Chief Justice John Marshall to his wife 
are given with "their background, political and domestic," is an ac- 
curate description of the book. Written in a popular, easy-to-read 
style, Mrs. Mason describes the life of the Marshalls and their kin, 
and she discusses the national and Virginia issues in which the Chief 
Justice played a part. Marshall's responsibilities necessitated long 
separations, and forty-three letters which he wrote to Mary Willis 
Ambler Marshall are inserted in appropriate places in the text. 

John Marshall is regarded as a towering figure in the history of 
American jurisprudence. His letters show that he was a very human 
person as well. After administering the oath to President Jackson, "A 
great ball was given at night to celebrate the election. I of course did 
not attend it" (p. 307). Marshall did attend and enjoy numerous social 
functions, which he described to Polly. He also told her of his daily 
routine when he wrote, "I take my walk in the morning, work hard all 
day, eat a hearty dinner & sleep sound at night, and sometimes comb 
my head before I go to bed" (p. 317). 

Frequently Marshall expressed concern about his wife's health. 
Because of her frailness, he felt it necessary to write to a neighbor, 
complaining of the "incessant barking of your dog . . ." which disturbed 
his wife's sleep (p. 308). 

Among other sources, Mrs. Mason used the Papers of John Marshall 
at the College of William and Mary, various secondary sources, notes 
taken by Marshall's grandchildren, and a source of dubious reliability, 
"Richmond tradition and Marshall family memories" (p. 354). 

Genealogical tables of various branches of the family, notes on each 
chapter, and an index are included at the end of the volume. 

Memory F. Blackwelder. 
State Department of Archives and History. 



Virginia Railroads in the Civil War. By Angus James Johnston. (Chapel 
Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 1961. Pp. xiv, 336. $6.00.) 

The Civil War was the first railroad war— a fact historians have long 
recognized. And in recent years several very good works have been 



232 The North Carolina Historical Review 

published on the subject. The volume under review, unlike these other 
accounts which deal with northern and southern railroads in general, 
focuses only upon the railroads of Virginia. Dr. Angus Johnston se- 
lected Virginia as a case study because the "Old Dominion" was the 
major battleground of the war and the State with the most railroad 
mileage in the South. The purpose of this study, as stated by the author 
in his preface, "is to demonstrate the effect of the war on the railroads 
as well as the effect of the railroads on the war/' This twofold object 
is skillfully accomplished and the result is an excellent book. 

During the early stages of the war railroads made possible "the 
collection and maintenance" of larger bodies of troops than had ever 
been assembled in this country. Railroads also gave the armies a new 
mobility. Beauregard and Johnston used the Manassas Gap Railroad to 
win the Battle of First Manassas. Nearly half of the troops that fought 
on the Confederate left this hot summer day had been moved by rail 
at the last minute from the Valley to the battle line. "Obviously, with- 
out the services of the railroad, inadequate and unpredictable though 
its performance had been, the troops that tipped the scale of victory in 
favor of the Confederacy would not have been there." Confederate 
leaders also introduced new techniques of warfare. Joe Johnston built 
the world's first military railroad from Manassas Junction to Centerville, 
Virginia. Lee designed the first railroad gun and Jackson was the first 
to demonstrate "the meaning of modern, economic, total war" by his 
raid on the Baltimore and Ohio. Soon the standard tactics on both 
sides called for the destruction of railroad communications. 

As the war progressed, attrition caused by the Federal blockade, 
deterioration of rolling stock, inflation, labor and material shortages, 
and indifference of the Confederate government, caused Virginia's 
railroads to decline in efficiency. And with this decline went the hopes 
of ultimate victory for the Army of Northern Virginia. General Lee, 
faced with a monumental supply problem, "was doomed to the un- 
happy fate of winning battles only to lose campaigns." Grant was fully 
aware of his adversary's difficulties. As a result he devoted a great 
deal of his energy during the last months of the war to cutting Lee's 
railroads. "Events in the spring of 1865 proved the Union commander's 
strategy to be correct when the resistance of the Army of Northern 
Virginia collapsed a week after the loss of its last railroad supply line." 

Footnotes, bibliography, index, illustrations, and tables add to the 
value of the book. 

John G. Barrett. 

Virginia Military Institute. 



Book Reviews 233 

The Wartime Papers of R. E. Lee. Edited by Clifford Dowdey. Associate 
Editor: Louis H. Manarin. (Boston: Little, Brown and Company. 1961. 
Illustrations, maps, notes, and index. Pp. xiv, 994. $12.50.) 

Next to the restoration of the Old Capitol in Mississippi, the pub- 
lication of the wartime papers of Robert E. Lee, under the sponsorship 
of the Virginia Civil War Commission, is the most distinguished effort 
in commemoration of the American Civil War yet seen by the reviewer. 
This handsomely-bound, well-edited, thousand-page volume contain- 
ing more than a thousand documents is a fit shelf companion for Free- 
man's Lee and dwarfs into insignificance most of the centennial litera- 
ture. 

Only about one-sixth of the Lee wartime correspondence extant is 
reproduced, the remainder having been put aside as repetitious, rou- 
tine, minor, or administrative paper work brought to Lee for his signa- 
ture. His battle reports for 1864 and 1865 are missing (they were 
burned in wagons on the road to Appomattox) and there is no way, of 
course, to recall those all-important verbal exchanges made during the 
heat of battle. The evidence is sufficient, however, to show that Lee 
the tactician was in no manner inferior to Lee the master strategist. 

Lee's military correspondence is interspersed with his letters to his 
semi-invalid wife and five of their seven children ( Mary and R. E. Lee, 
Jr., having failed to preserve their father's letters), as well as sundry 
other relatives. The seventeen chapters in the book, from the first, on 
the mobilization of Virginia (April- July, 1861), to the last, having to 
do with the Appomattox campaign ( February- April, 1865 ) , are intro- 
duced with authoritative running narratives of from two to seven pages. 
In these Clifford Dowdey sets the stage, introducing material taken 
from excluded documents and making up in part for the lack of letters 
to Lee. The editor is sometimes critical of his subject, is almost always 
antagonistic toward Davis, and once in a while allows himself the use 
of some very careless language. 

The documents reveal Lee as a soldier and as a man, probably with- 
out changing in a substantial way the picture already formed by any 
knowledgeable person. The official correspondence emphasizes that 
Lee not only fought campaigns but kept reorganizing his Army of 
Northern Virginia, maintaining it as well as he could, and providing 
it less and less effectively with food and forage. He was definitely con- 
cerned with problems of the whole Confederacy, yet never really had 
unrestricted control of his own army. His deference to "His Excel- 
lency," President Davis, is almost oppressive, as is his willingness to 
work uncomplainingly with what he had. He anticipated success until 



234 The North Carolina Historical Review 

late summer of 1863 when he realized that his magnificent army had 
passed its peak. 

The more personal letters bring sharply to mind Lee's patience, 
humility, strict honesty, and his deep religious conviction— "Our life 
in this world is of no value except to prepare us for a better." Though 
he disliked slavery and opposed secession, he saw independence as a 
legitimate objective. The private letters ( "I never write private letters 
for the public eye.") reveal a less somber individual, a Lee who could 
fret about his failure to return a bucket which had come to him filled 
with butter, one who indulged in quiet humor and occasional badin- 
age. He carried on with his wife a four-year debate as to the numbers 
of pairs of socks in the bags she kept sending, at one point expressing 
his pleasure that there was "arithmetic enough" in the family to count 
to thirty. Lee may well have been the victim of hypertension and some- 
times showed his irritation with newspaper editors, draft dodgers, the 
Confederate Congress, speculators, and those of the enemy who en- 
gaged in wanton destruction and other unworthy deeds. 

The Wartime Papers of R. E. Lee deserves serious consideration for 
commendation by the Civil War Centennial Commission. 

James W. Silver. 
University of Mississippi. 



Lee's Maverick General: Daniel Harvey Hill. By Hal Bridges. (New York: 
McGraw-Hill Book Company. 1961. Pp. viii, 323. Notes, bibliography, 
and index. $7.50.) 

This valued addition to Civil War literature is a biography at last of 
hard fighting, ill-tempered Major General (temporarily Lieutenant 
General) Daniel Harvey Hill, one of the high ranking soldiers North 
Carolina sent to the Confederate army. 

Fortified by exacting research and possessing an easy writing style, 
the author has produced as good a book as is ever likely to be written 
about the high spirited eccentric he aptly terms Lee's maverick. If it 
is not altogether satisfying the fault is mainly in the subject. Though 
Mr. Bridges deals sympathetically with Harvey Hill, sides with him 
during a vast amount of in-fighting against associates in gray as well 
as enemies in blue, generously admires his tactical competence and 
softens his failure at Chickamauga, the composite picture he presents 
is that of a beset and unhappy man. 



Book Reviews 235 

Harvey Hill complained against or quarreled in varying degrees of 
anger with Stuart, Longstreet, Toombs, Howell Cobb, Polk, Mahone, 
Gorgas, Bragg, Cooper, and Lee, and eventually engaged in a long 
and bootless wrangle with President Davis from which he was certain 
to emerge a loser. The fiery Toombs challenged him and Billy Mahone 
nearly did. When Hill, whose courage was well known, refused Toombs 
for reasons of the war, the Georgian called him a "poltroon." Perhaps 
10 other would have employed that term who watched Hill in action: 
at Seven Pines, South Mountain or along the "Bloody Lane" at Sharps- 
Durg. But he seemed alert for conspiracies against him and satisfied 
limself by finding them. 

Devout, touchy and intensely partisan— his arithmetic problems be- 
ore the war were worded to illustrate Yankee perfidy— he prodded his 
superiors and criticised Lee's generalship. He took time to chide the 
stay-at-homes and skulkers "lying around the brothels, gambling 
saloons and drinking houses of Richmond." He attributed Confederate 
*e verses to the profanity of the soldiers. 

Lee imputed to Hill or Hill's headquarters staff the loss of the order 
>vhich apprised McClellan of his plans and led to the futility of the 
Maryland campaign in 1862. Author Bridges defends Hill and comes 
jp with the curious suggestion that Lee's dispatch bearer may have 
3een a Federal spy. The patient Lee finally shied away from Hill 
md after the war said he "croaked." In dealing with their strained 
elations the author does not quote this word of Lee's, but he does quote 
Bragg, who also applied it: "His open and constant croaking would 
lemoralize any command in the world." 

The author tends to exonerate Hill also for failure to capture the 
:wo Federal divisions exposed in McLemore's Cove below Chatta- 
aooga, which neither Bragg nor much historical judgment has been 
Drepared to do. He accepts the version that Hill delayed because, 
among other things, General Cleburne was ill, a condition of which 
Cleburne apparently was unaware. Hill's nomination to be lieutenant 
general was never confirmed after Chickamauga. 

Mainly because of his prickly traits, resulting no doubt from a pain- 
ful spinal ailment brought on by poliomyelitis, Hill sat on the sidelines 
nuch of the closing period but appeared in minor roles and commanded 
3ne of Johnstons depleted divisions against Sherman at Benton ville. 
rhe author puts the chief blame throughout on Hill's superiors, espec- 
ially Bragg, an overworked scapegoat, but not absolving Lee. 

Mr. Bridges, a Professor of History at the University of Colorado, 
las written a badly-needed, thoroughly-documented biography of 



236 The North Carolina Historical Review 

one of the brisk, nettlesome, pugnacious figures of the Confederacy 
who will always have his school of admirers. Every ardent North 
Carolina buff will require this book. 

Glenn Tucker. 
Route 1, Flat Rock. 



Full Many A Name: The Story of Sam Davis. By Mabel Goode Frantz. 
(Jackson, Tennessee: McCowat-Mercer Press, Inc. 1961. Illustrations, 
bibliography, and index. Pp. 143. $3.95.) 

Tennessee's Confederate hero, Sam Davis, facing death on a Federal 
gallows as a spy, chose not to divulge details of his activities as a scout 
bearing intelligence from Middle Tennessee to General Braxton Bragg 
at Chattanooga in November, 1863. As a consequence, he was hanged, 
a boy of 21. Davis, selected for scouting activity from Company I, 
First Tennessee Infantry, died on November 27, 1863, in Pulaski, after 
Union General G. M. Dodge was unable to get the youth to talk about 
his assignment. He was buried later at the home in Smyrna. 

This is a commendable effort to tell the epic story, beginning with 
his ancestry in southside Virginia, his education, enlistment for military 
service in the early days of the conflict, the dark days after Shiloh, 
and events that led to his capture, trial, and execution. At times it is 
skimpy for the reader who has not "grown up" on this epic, needs 
more research, particularly the legality of the trial. The author has 
done a service in making the Sam Davis story available for young 
and adult readers during this period of opulent writings on the Civil 
War. 

Tennessee and the world can proudly remember Sam Davis. Al- 
though he was wounded at Shiloh and executed at Pulaski, he never 
suffered any damage to his honor and devotion to what he believed 
to be right. 

T. Harry Gatton. 

Raleigh. 



From Shiloh to San Juan : The Life of "Fightin' Joe" Wheeler. By John 
P. Dyer. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. 1961. Pp. 
xii, 275. $5.00.) 

Although the Army of Tennessee never won a victory it was never 
routed when it withdrew from an engagement. The commander of the 



Book Reviews 237 

army depended on General Joseph Wheeler, Chief of Cavalry, to cover 
the retrograde movements. This Wheeler did very successfully. He was 
described by one of his friends as the "gamest banty" of the Confed- 
erate Army. 

Born at Augusta, Georgia, in 1836, Wheeler entered West Point in 
1854. He graduated fourth from the bottom of his class in 1859, making 
his poorest grades in cavalry tactics. Later he was commissioned second 
lieutenant in the cavalry. When Georgia seceded he left Fort Craig 
to tender his services to his State. He first saw service under Bragg 
at Pensacola and joined the Army of Tennessee when Bragg's com- 
mand was ordered to join the army at Corinth. At the Battle of Shiloh 
he commanded a regiment. During Bragg's Kentucky campaign 
Wheeler was appointed Chief of Cavalry, and after the campaign he 
was promoted to Brigadier General, Chief of Cavalry, Army of Ten- 
nessee. He served in this position until the end of the war. In 1881 
he was elected to the House of Representatives from the Eighth Dis- 
trict of Alabama. When the Spanish-American War came he offered 
his services and was appointed Major General of United States Volun- 
teers and placed in command of the cavalry. Thus he made the transi- 
tion from Blue to Gray to Blue. He actively served with the invading 
army throughout the campaign, and returned to his seat in the House 
when it was over. 

"Fightin' Joe" Wheeler did his best fighting when he was ordered 
to cover the rear and flanks of the Army of Tennessee. Although sev- 
eral of his raids were partial successes they did not accomplish every- 
thing desired. The author points out that Wheeler was not a master 
of every phase of the military art. In his contrast of Wheeler with 
Forrest Mr. Dyer concluded that Wheeler worked better with the 
army, whereas Forrest was more at home on a raid. Mr. Dyer came 
to the conclusion that Wheeler was a soldier first and a fighter second, 
whereas Forrest was a fighter first and a soldier second. Although he 
did not have Forrest's dash, he was a trained officer who could be 
depended upon. 

The book is very well balanced. Mr. Dyer does not overemphasize 
Wheeler's Civil War career, but covers his life with equal treatment. 
In developing the campaigns, military and political, the author presents 
the necessary facts and does not belabor a particular campaign be- 
cause of its over-all importance in a period of history. He develops 
Wheeler's part in it. 

This book is a revised edition of Mr. Dyer's "Fightin Joe" Wheeler, 
published by the Louisiana State University Press in 1941. Since the 



238 The North Carolina Historical Review 

publication of the earlier work Mr. Dyer states that no new source 
material on Wheeler has been uncovered. The revised edition places 
more emphasis on Wheeler's Civil War career than does the earlier 
edition. The historian and Civil War enthusiast will regret that all 
footnotes have been omitted in the revised edition. However, the 
author's Critical Essay on Authorities will be very helpful for those 
who wish to do further research. 

There are several general maps of the campaigns of the Army of 
Tennessee which will assist the reader in understanding the campaigns. 
Well-indexed, this revised edition of a long out of print work is a 
definite contribution to Civil War literature. It should rank as one of 
the finest biographies of Confederate generals. 

Louis H. Manarin. 
North Carolina Confederate Centennial Commission. 



Reconstruction after the Civil War. By John Hope Franklin. (Chicago: 
The University of Chicago Press. 1961. Illustrations. Pp. x, 258. $5.00.) 

The history of Reconstruction began to be written almost before the 
program had been completed and has continued to attract the interest 
of professional historians ever since. William A. Dunning's Reconstruc- 
tion, Political and Economic, 1865-1877, published in 1906, is charac- 
terized by Professor Franklin as "the definitive statement of the most 
influential of the earlier historians of the period." Dunning's interpre- 
tations, propagated by his students and followers, were long accepted 
by most professional historians. Claude G. Bowers with The Tragic 
Era and George Fort Milton with The Age of Hate popularized the 
Dunning interpretation. In 1939 Francis B. Simkins in "New View- 
points of Southern Reconstruction" and Howard K. Beale in "On Re- 
writing Reconstruction History" (1940) called for a revision of the 
Dunning interpretation. Before this call was sounded monographs had 
appeared differing in some particulars from the interpretations of the 
Dunning school, and since then many more have been published. Now 
in 1961 we have two general treatments of Reconstruction. One of these 
is David Donald's revised edition of James G. Randall's The Civil War 
and Reconstruction first published in 1937, the other is the subject 
of this review. They are similar in that they incorporate the findings 
of the revisionist writings of the past twenty years; and that they treat 
Reconstruction more as a national than a sectional problem, give more 
attention to business, labor, and farm movements, deal more moderately 



Book Reviews 239 

with Negroes, carpetbaggers, and scalawags, find more constructive 
features in Radical Reconstruction, and are less favorably disposed 
toward conservative white Bourbons of the South than the Dunning 
school of writers. 

As Professor Franklin himself states his contribution is found in the 
new emphasis and interpretations of known facts, not in unearthing 
new sources or the discovery of new factual information. He points out 
many misconceptions and false interpretations which he proposes to 
clear up and correct. Space permits only a few examples. Earlier 
writers claimed that "huge military forces" were kept in the South for 
a long period of time. Not so, says Franklin. Post-war demobilization 
was rapid and only a skeleton army remained after 1866. Where 
earlier writers charged that Republican carpetbaggers tried to "Afri- 
canize" the South, Franklin says that they enfranchised the Negro for 
political control but "did not intend any revolution in general social 
relations between Negroes and whites." Earlier writers made the Negro 
the villain of Reconstruction, exaggerated his role in government, and 
found him ignorant, incompetent, and corrupt. Franklin says they 
ignored the fact that many Negroes who held office had gone to great 
pains to educate themselves, were honest and competent, and made 
significant contributions to the establishment of liberal democratic 
governments in the South. The early writers also exaggerated political 
corruption in the South and ignored the fact, says Franklin, that cor- 
ruption was not peculiar to that region but prevailed throughout the 
country and was in truth "bisectional, bipartisan and biracial." 

Professor Franklin condemns the Black Codes for their restrictions 
on the rights of the ex-slaves and praises the Freedmen's Bureau for its 
activities in health, education, and general well-being of the Negro. 
Over-all he finds Radical Reconstruction moderate rather than extreme. 
Et accomplished significant reforms in public education, public wel- 
fare, and the advance of democratic principles. He sees the tragedy of 
Reconstruction in its failure to give the former slave economic in- 
dependence and stability. In explaining how the utterly defeated 
South in a short time effectively escaped the terms imposed by the 
victorious North, Franklin emphasizes the influence of organized vio- 
lence in the Ku Klux Klan. He concludes, however, that Reconstruction 
could have been overthrown without the use of violence. The North 
bad grown tired of the struggle and was anxious to get back to business 
is usual. Furthermore Northerners had acquiesced "in the Southern 
view of the Negro," and had conceded that the Negro was not yet ready 
to take his place as an equal of the white. 



240 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Professor Franklin's interpretations are generally sound and valid, 
but like most writers who propose to correct long established interpre- 
tations he has gone too far in some cases. For instance, he underesti- 
mates the extent of both political democracy and public education in 
the Old South; credits the Radical Reconstruction with more good 
deeds and greater advances than it actually performed; and is in error 
when he says that the Reconstruction constitutions were so satisfactory 
"that for a generation no serious constitution-making was undertaken." 
Several Reconstructed States held conventions to rewrite their consti- 
tutions in the 1870's. Even so he has written a significant book, and 
while the pendulum of interpretation may swing back its arc has been, 
permanently shortened by Professor Franklin. 

Fletcher M. Green. 
The University of North Carolina. 



The South in the New Nation, 1789-1819. By Thomas P. Abernethy. Volume 
IV of A History of the South. Edited by Wendell Holmes Stephenson 
and E. Merton Coulter. (Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press 
and the Littleneld Fund for Southern History of the University of Texas. 
1961. Maps and charts, prefaces, critical essay on authorities. Pp. xvi, 
529. $7.50.) 

In the volume under review Professor Thomas P. Abernethy pro- 
vides the reader with an excellent analysis of the most obscure period 
of southern history. Considering the fact that the author's main reliance 
had to be on primary materials and that the author had no pattern to 
follow in presenting the results, the volume is excellent. Although some 
of the topics discussed have been the subjects of outstanding mono- 
graphs (for example, Professor Abernethy's own The Burr Conspiracy 
and Professor I. J. Cox's The West Florida Controversy), this is the 
first time that the entire period 1789 to 1819 in the history of the South 
has been discussed in one volume by an authority in the field. 

To Professor Abernethy the hot and cold war waged for the Old 
Southwest, the westward movement of population, and the growth 
side by side of a democracy and a landed gentry are the important 
themes. This reviewer agrees with the authors position that "section- 
alism . . . [should take] a secondary place in this volume." Although 
the author maintains that space did not permit him to trace the eco- 
nomic and social development of the region, this is the major weakness 
of the volume. In an age when historians are increasing the em- 
phasis on these forces, it is regrettable that the author did not reduce 



Book Reviews 241 

the space devoted to the story of the conquest and settlement of the 
Southwest in order to concentrate some attention on the social and 
economic development. 

The maps and charts in this volume are quite numerous and help 
the reader to understand the text. They are far superior to the usual 
maps and charts. The volume maintains the high level of the series 
and is a credit to the author, the editors, and the press responsible. 
This reviewer hopes that the two remaining volumes to be published 
will appear soon and will be as well worth waiting for as Volume IV 
has been. 

John Edmond Gonzales. 

Mississippi Southern College. 



The Negro in the American Revolution. By Benjamin Quarles. (Chapel 
Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. Published for the Insti- 
tute of Early American History and Culture. 1961. Bibliography and 
index. Pp. xiii, 231. $6.00.) 

In this volume Professor Quarles, historian of the Negro in the Civil 
War, has given us a lively, detailed account of the manifold activities 
of Negroes in the War for Independence and the extent to which the 
war advanced the Negro on the slow, doubtful, but inevitable road to 
emancipation. At the outset of the book Mr. Quarles points out how 
the need for man power in the patriot forces, plus the doctrines of the 
enlightenment given transcendent form in the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, induced hesitant slaveowners and legislatures to enlist 
Negroes in the patriot armies with a promise of freedom for the bonds- 
men at the conclusion of the war. The British, who had nothing to 
lose and much to gain by such a policy, enthusiastically urged slaves 
to desert their masters, serve in the loyalist forces, and receive their 
freedom at the hand of the king. Thus the war brought an unexpected, 
if temporary opportunity for thousands of bondsmen to shake off their 
shackles. 

In the remainder of the book Mr. Quarles follows the careers of 
the slaves in the armed forces as soldiers, sailors, spies, guides, in- 
formers, laborers, and artisans. According to nearly all accounts they 
acquitted themselves creditably, which is not surprising in view of 
the reward they were striving for. Unfortunately, an almost total 
lack of materials makes it impossible for Professor Quarles to give 
us an acompanying analysis of the attitudes and inner motivations of 
the Negroes who set out on this hazardous highroad to freedom. 



242 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Mr. Quarks' treatment of Negro activities is considerably stronger 
than his analysis of the anti-slavery movement associated with the war. 
Ascribing the movement mainly to the doctrines of the Enlightenment, 
he does not discuss adequately the economic pressures which were 
being brought to bear on many large slaveowners. Because of the 
perennially low tobacco prices, slaves on many large plantations were 
simply not earning their keep. Diversification of agriculture and the 
building of industries appeared to many planters as the best way of 
stimulating the sagging economy of the upper South. Slavery they 
regarded as a bar to an effective use of these remedies. As philosophers, 
planters like Mason, Washington, or Robert Carter, might have a sin- 
cere desire to free the black men from their bondage, but as business- 
men they were equally interested in freeing their region from a labor 
system which might threaten them with bankruptcy. 

Elisha P. Douglass. 
University of North Carolina. 



The Triumphant Empire : Thunder-Clouds Gather in the West, 1763-1766. 
By Lawrence Henry Gipson. (New York: Knopf. 1961 Illustrations, 
notes, and index. Pp. lxxv, 414. $8.50.) 

As Volume X of The British Empire Before the American Revolution, 
this is the last but one of the narrative volumes of the great work 
whose climax is being approached. The point of view, argument, and 
slightly altered plan of this book appeared, without the present rich- 
ness of detail, in the first eight chapters of Gipson's The Coming of the 
Revolution (1954). 

The theme is developed in two parts. The first eight chapters de- 
scribe the sound financial condition of the American colonies after 
1763, suggesting their ability to contribute without strain to the cost 
of imperial defense and administration. The remaining nine chapters 
discuss the financial problems of the imperial government, the attempts 
to raise a colonial revenue to support part of the burden of empire, 
the constitutional issues these efforts produced, the crisis over the 
Stamp Act, its repeal, and the effect of this rebuff to England upon 
the empire. In Gipson's view, England's financial demands were 
reasonable but the colonies themselves were different after 1763, and 
so the demands caused unanticipated reactions. The ensuing crisis 
was a constitutional crisis; what was needed was a revision of the im- 



Book Reviews 243 

perial constitution about whose nature Americans and British dis- 
agreed. 

The outlines of this story have been presented often before, but 
never better. Gipson's account, sympathetic to England's problems but 
understanding of the colonial reaction, is authoritative and clear. His 
thorough knowledge and use of the primary sources inspire admiration. 

Carl B. Cone. 
University of Kentucky. 



The Antifederalists Critics of the Constitution, 1781-1788. By Jackson 
Turner Main. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 
Published for the Institute of Early American History and Culture, c. 
1961. Pp. xviii, 308. $7.50.) 

Here is the first comprehensive study of the Antifederalists of the 
1780's. In the past much has been written about them, but only in 
scattered parts and bits here and there. Now we have a detailed treat- 
ment of them— in the light of geography, socio-economic interests, 
philosophy, politics, and other factors. One can but wonder that such 
a work was not produced long ago. 

Beginning with a general statement regarding the Antifederalists* 
"Social and Political Background," the writer next analvzes their situa- 
tion in each of the thirteen States. There follows a study of the con- 
flict in every State between the Antifederalists (who he says should 
have been called Federalists in that they favored maintaining a fed- 
eral form of central government) and the Federalists (who, states the 
author, should have been named Nationalists because they worked for 
a stronger nation— but thev stole their name from their opponents) 
over strengthening the Confederation. 

A verv bn'ef account of the framing of the Constitution is followed 
by a detailed statement covering tKe AnHfederal objections to that 
instrument. Most of the group would have been willing to take certain 
actions to strengthen the government, but not to the extent that the 
pronosed Constitution would do. 

Finally, almost 100 nages are devoted to a studv of the fiVht in each 
State over the ratification of the Constitution. In the main the inter- 
pretation of Libbv and Beard is accepted, and the neo-revisionist 
thesis (or theses) of Bobert E. Brown and Forrest McDonald is (or 
are) rejected. ". . . the struggle over the ratification of the Constitution 
was primarily a contest between the commercial and the non-commer- 



244 The North Carolina Historical Review 

cial elements in the population. . . . The Federalists included the mer- 
chants and other town dwellers, farmers depending on the major 
cities, and those who produced a surplus for export. The Antifed- 
eralists were primarily those who were not so concerned with, or who 
did not recognize a dependence upon, the mercantile community or 
foreign markets." 

Six pertinent appendixes, a "Historical and Bibliographical Essay," 
and an index complete the work. 

On the whole this is a valuable study, based on thorough research, 
well organized and presented, readable, reasonably objective. While 
the tone is more favorable to the Antifederalists than anything the 
present reviewer has ever seen, having read the book he feels that 
this group is justly entitled to such treatment, for up until now his- 
torians have failed to understand them or do them justice. All who 
had a part in the production of this book are to be congratulated for 
a job very well done. 

Insofar as North Carolina is concerned, there are a few errors. Two 
of the counties are misspelled ( Surry— p. 243, n. 74— and Edgecombe— 
p. 245). Worse is the reference to the Halifax convention (p. 244) 
when obviously Hillsboro is meant. Even though this slipped by the 
author, it would appear that it might have been caught by the pub- 
lisher, whose headquarters are less than 15 miles from the town where 
the convention actually met. 

Christopher Crittenden. 
State Department of Archives and History. 



The Letters of Stephen A. Douglas. Edited by Robert W. Johannsen. 
(Urbana: University of Illinois Press. 1961. Illustrations, notes, and 
index. Pp. xxxi, 558. $10.00.) 

Reading a collection of letters is like reading epigrams— one soon 
becomes surfeited; therefore a collected correspondence is usually bed- 
time reading or research reading, and there is not much middle 
ground. But perseverence is often rewarded with revelations and in- 
sights into the letterwriter's nature that have escaped the biographer. 
Whether such is the case with Robert W. Johannsen's finely edited 
Letters of Stephen A. Douglas is problematical. Only if Douglas was 
a pure political animal does he stand nakedly revealed in this collec- 
tion of correspondence and assorted documents running from 1833 
to 1861. 



Book Reviews 245 

Mr. Johannsen has probably found most of the extant Douglas 
letters, and he has performed a valuable service in bringing them to- 
gether. The political historian will be indebted to him even if the 
letters do add up to an unlovely self-portrait of a man; for one looks 
virtually in vain for wives (except for Mr. Johannsen's careful citation 
and indexing one would scarcely learn that Douglas had two ) , children, 
consummated loves and dreams, moments of anguish and terror in 
the night. Though perhaps it is a true picture of Douglas and the people 
he championed— bludgeoning, insensitive, acquisitive, bold, athirst 
for power. 

This is essentially a scholar's book and Mr. Johannsen has discharged 
his scholarly obligation in fine fashion. The explanatory notes are 
meticulously done, apparently most everyone and everything men- 
tioned in the letters and notes is indexed, and the location of every 
document is carefully given. There is also an introductory sketch of 
Douglas in which Mr. Johannsen probably lays out the thesis of the 
biography he is currently writing. 

Peter F. Walker. 

The University of North Carolina. 



Origins of the TV A : The Muscle Shoals Controversy, 1920-1932. By Pres- 
ton J. Hubbard. (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1961. Foot- 
notes, bibliography, and index. Pp. ix, 340. $6.00.) 

Beginning with the authorization of a cyanamid-process plant for 
producing nitrates during World War I, the legislative history of 
Muscle Shoals is traced in this book in detail to the passage of the Ten- 
nessee Valley Authority Act in 1933. Professor Hubbard examines the 
conflict over the relative merits of rival processes for fixing nitrates; 
the clash over fertilizer production versus hydro-electric power at 
Wilson Dam; and, emerging near the end of the book, the gigantic 
struggle over private or public operation and over piecemeal or inte- 
grated development of the great Tennessee River resources. Clearly 
portrayed are the public characters of Henry Ford, Senator Tom 
Heflin, Senator George Norris, and, less clearly but nonetheless in- 
terestingly, Presidents Coolidge and Hoover. The complicated maneuv- 
ering of Congressional committees, lobbies, and private interests are 
followed as a small determined group of conservationists first defeated 
the offer of Henry Ford to acquire the property, then defeated the 
power companies in their bid for it, passed two public power acts only 



246 The North Carolina Historical Review 

to have them vetoed, and finally won victory under Franklin D. 
Roosevelt. 

Professor Hubbard has courageously assaulted the masses of 
twentieth-century source materials which are as great a handicap to 
scholarly research as a dearth of data. Out of his embarrassment of 
riches he has written a clearly outlined, heavily-documented account. 
The first three chapters and the last are interestingly written, and the 
summaries at the ends of chapters show skillful synthesis. Inexplicably, 
however, the original Norris plan is never described, although from 
page 48 to page 313 constant reference is made to it and it was the 
basis of the TVA Act of 1933. 

Research in depth is apparent but breadth is not yet present. More 
interpretation of events is needed in the light of national political move- 
ments, the abnormal value of the farm vote to southern congressmen, 
the Populist Revolt and the Roosevelt conservation movement, the 
socio-economic position of the Farm Bureau, to suggest a few lines of 
thought, although all the foregoing are mentioned brieflv. The theme 
as indicated bv the title is frequently lost sight of. Finally, while it is 
granted that the author must comprehend minute details in day-by-dav 
chronology, it is this reviewer's opinion that claritv of exposition would 
be imnroved bv greater terseness in describing Congressional hearings 
and the repetitive remarks of innumerable newspapers and pressure 
groups. 

This book contains a vast amount of valuable information readily 
accessible. Professor Hubbard has done an excellent piece of research, 
and shows promise for further writings in a field chosen by too few 
historians— the recent years of the twentieth century. 

Sarah McCulloh Lemmon. 
Meredith College. 



Grave Humor: A Collection of Humorous "Epitaphs. By Alonzo C. Hall. 
(Charlotte: McNally. 1961. Pp. 102. $2.95.) 

During forty years or more, Alonzo C. Hall, now Professor Emeritus 
of the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina, has col- 
lected epitaphs from graveyards within his reach, mainly in North 
Carolina and Massachusetts but in other States and England as well. 
He has filled this small book with choice samples from the humorous 
epitaphs in his collection. Often the tombstone humor as he records 



Book Reviews 247 

it was unintentional, obviously, but many times it was deliberate and 
in fact might have been dictated by the deceased or at least might 
have been acceptable to him. The book reminds us of something we 
may forget— that humor need not be light or frivolous, but that it 
sometimes has an appropriateness and a naturalness in man's response 
to the major affairs of existence. 

Arlin Turner. 
Duke University. 



Guide to Photocopied Historical Materials in the United States and Canada. 
Edited by Richard W. Hale, Jr. (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University 
Press [for the American Historical Association]. 1961. Pp. xxxiv, 241. 
$5.00.) 

With the increasing acceptance of photocopies as research tools and 
as means of providing security copies of valuable manuscripts has come 
the need for a guide to photocopied historical materials available in 
the United States and Canada. 

The Council on Library Resources, Inc.,— an organization to which 
every historian owes more than he realizes— in 1957 granted funds to 
the American Historical Association for the purpose of compiling such 
a guide. The Association's Committee on Documentary Reproduction 
undertook the task and appointed Dr. Richard W. Hale, Jr., as editor. 
After two and a half years of studying completed questionnaires, visit- 
ing hundreds of institutions, and tracing down the slightest hint of 
historical materials in photocopied form, Dr. Hale's guide has now been 
published. 

It is an indispensible tool for every research institution. 

Arranged by the geographical origin of the documents— foreign 
countries are included as well as all the Provinces of Canada and States 
of the United States— the Guide to Photocopied Historical Materials in 
the United States and Canada contains a listing of historical materials 
in photocopied form and indicates the source of the original, the holders 
of the master negative and positive copies, and the type of photocopy. 
Photocopies of printed materials are excluded except in unusual cases. 

A study of the section relating to North Carolina materials reveals 
what a user must expect of such a formidable and complicated task: 
a few errors. Example: the original special schedules of the Censuses 
of 1850 through 1870 are credited to Duke University; they are in the 
State Department of Archives and History. But to itemize such errors 



248 The North Carolina Historical Review 

would be to cast unwarranted suspicions upon a monumental work for 
which all historians and research institutions should be thankful. 

Dick Hale has, since editing the Guide, assumed the challenging 
post of Archivist of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

H. G. Jones. 
State Department of Archives and History. 



The Interurban Era. By William D. Middleton. (Milwaukee: Kalmbach 

Publishing Co. 1961. Illustrations, appendix of lines built, glossary, and 

index. Pp. 432. $15.00.) 

Though electric interurban railways spread over this country like 
a net in the first quarter of the twentieth century, this uniquely Ameri- 
can phenomenon continued to be neglected by conventional railroad 
historians until the recent publication of a scholarly survey of electric 
interurbans in 1960 and the current publication of The Interurban 
Era. The present work completes the definitive assay of the inter- 
urbans' history, technology, atmosphere, and place in American life. 

So completely have these lines vanished during the past forty years 
that of literally hundreds of intercity electric passenger carriers only 
two survive as passenger and freight haulers, both in the Midwest. 
Despite the obvious difficulties in reconstructing such an era in word 
and illustration, William D. Middleton ( one of a quintet of top Ameri- 
can interurban students) has reconstructed it in a comprehensive set 
of 560 photos, many very old and all historic. Nowhere is there avail- 
able a collection of photos remotely equaling this. Nearly every com- 
pany is represented, often in quarto illustrations. The photographs are 
supplemented with a fair amount of text, much of it in carefully re- 
searched chapter-introductions and liberal photo captions, chapters 
on history and technology, a list of lines, and an excellent glossary. 

North Carolina coverage includes an extremely rare illustration of 
the Wilmington- Wrightsville interurban and specially-assembled set 
of seven photos of the Piedmont & Northern, financially the most suc- 
cessful of all interurbans. 

This book is competently and responsibly done; it is interesting and 
handsomely executed. It merits a place in any library giving even 
minimum attention to railroad history or to Americana. 

Michael J. Dunn, III. 
Belmont Abbey College. 



HISTORICAL NEWS 

Department of Archives and History 



Confederate Centennial Commission 

Four new members have recently been appointed by Governor Terry 
Sanford to the North Carolina Confederate Centennial Commission. To the 
two-year terms the following were designated: Mr. George Myrover, 
Fayetteville ; Mrs. Earl Teague, Statesville ; Mr. Bedford Black, Kannapo- 
lis ; and Mrs. Jessie Ruth Seagroves, Siler City. 

Mr. Norman C. Larson, the Commission's Executive Secretary, discussed 
plans for commemorating the battles of New Bern and Roanoke Island 
with members of the Centennial Committees of New Hanover and Dare 
counties on January 3 and 4. He was again in New Bern on January 8. 

Ceremonies commemorating the Battle of Roanoke Island were held in 
Manteo on February 7 and 8. Mr. Richard Iobst, former Staff Historian 
of the North Carolina Confederate Centennial Commission, was featured 
speaker for the event. Prior to Mr. Iobst's address, Mr. Larson presented, 
on behalf of the Commission and the State of North Carolina, two battle 
markers to Dare County. 

On January 17 the Executive Secretary met with members of the Audio- 
Visual Committee at a supper meeting in Durham. Plans to secure network 
time for the WUNC-TV production of Manly Wade Wellman's "One Night 
in Chambersburg" were discussed. Mr. Larson and Audio-Visual Com- 
mittee representatives were in New York January 27-29 to talk with 
representatives of NBC, CBS, ABC, NEBA, and NET in this regard. 

At a program in Charlotte on January 31, the Nationwide Insurance 
Company presented identical Civil War medical exhibits to the States of 
North Carolina and South Carolina. The staff of the North Carolina Con- 
federate Centennial Commission was present at ceremonies at which 
Governor Terry Sanford accepted the exhibit on behalf of the State of 
North Carolina. 

A special Civil War Centennial Army Exhibit was shown in the Hall 
of History February 5-10. Governor Sanford officially opened the exhibit 
at a preview and reception on the night of February 5. Sponsored jointly 
by the North Carolina Confederate Centennial Commission, the Depart- 
ment of Archives and History, and the Raleigh Subsector Command, 
Twelfth U. S. Army Corps, the exhibit was shown along with items from 
the T. Price Gibson Collection of Civil War Memorabilia, Currier and Ives 
prints from the collection of Colonel L. C. Rosser, and Civil War small 
arms from the Sir Walter Gun Club of Raleigh. 

Over seventy-five County Centennial Committee members representing 
some forty-five counties met in Raleigh on February 10 at a workshop 
meeting sponsored by the Commission. All phases of North Carolina's 



250 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Centennial program were discussed in the series of six panels which com- 
prised the all-day program. Mr. Edmund Harding, "North Carolina's 
Ambassador of Good Will," was featured speaker at the luncheon at the 
Hotel Sir Walter. 

A new addition to the staff of the North Carolina Confederate Centennial 
is Miss Jan Hayes, stenographer. Miss Hayes is a graduate of Robert E. 
Lee High School in Jacksonville, Florida, and is a former employee of the 
North Carolina State Department of Public Welfare. 

Carolina Charter Tercentenary Commission 

On January 17 a joint resolution was introduced in the United States 
Senate, by Senators Samuel J. Ervin, Jr., and B. Everett Jordan, to 
establish a federal commission which will co-operate with and assist the 
Carolina Charter Tercentenary Commission. The proposed North Carolina 
Tercentenary Celebration Commission would be composed of fifteen mem- 
bers: four representatives, four senators, and seven members appointed 
by the President. In addition to working with the Charter Commission 
on a program already formulated, the federal commission is expected to 
be prepared to communicate with the governments of any other nations 
when they are invited to participate in the Tercentenary celebration. The 
resolution was referred to the Judiciary Committee. 

Other plans and projects were expedited at the meeting of the executive 
committee of the Commission on February 9 in Raleigh. A report by the 
Executive Secretary, General John D. F. Phillips, U.S.A. (ret.), outlined 
several projects which are either underway or in the planning stage. 
Among these are: a commemorative stamp to be issued in 1963 by the 
U. S. Post Office Department; a mobile history museum; documentary 
motion picture production ; musical compositions ; state-wide commemora- 
tive observances ; visits by national and international notables during 1963 ; 
and historical pamphlets now being written by professional historians for 
use by school students. Six pamphlets currently in preparation are: The 
Highland Scots in North Carolina, by Professor Duane Meyer of Southwest 
Missouri State College ; Culpeper's Revolt, by Dr. Hugh F. Rankin of Tulane 
University ; Indian Wars in North Carolina, by Dr. E. Lawrence Lee, Jr., 
of the Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina ; The Proprietors of North Caro- 
lina, by Mr. William S. Powell, Librarian of the North Carolina Collection, 
University of North Carolina Library; Albemarle County, 1664-1689, by 
Dr. Herbert R. Paschal, Jr., East Carolina College; and Royal Governors 
of North Carolina, by Professor Blackwell P. Robinson, Woman's College 
of the University of North Carolina. Three additional pamphlets will be 
commissioned at a later date. The Commission approved a budgetary re- 
quest for 1963-1964 of $54,821. Mr. Joel Fleishman, Legal Assistant to 
Governor Terry Sanford, was guest speaker at the luncheon. Speaking in 
behalf of the Governor, who could not be present, he challenged the Com- 
mission with the monumental task of "building a bridge between the 
history of our State to the people of North Carolina today to make them 
more conscious of our proud heritage." He further stated that "there can- 



Historical News 251 

not be quality education in North Carolina until they are made fully aware 
of the origins of our State and our nation." 

Mr. William C. Fields, well-known artist of Fayetteville, was recently 
appointed a Commission member by Governor Sanford. 

Two new committees have been established by the Commission as a 
result of its broadening activities. The Committee on Public Information 
Activities, headed by Mr. Henry Belk of Goldsboro, will act as a steering 
group for the Public Information Program ; and the Committee on Tourist 
Activities, with Mr. Dan M. Paul of Raleigh as chairman, will work with 
the North Carolina Travel Council and other travel agencies in encourag- 
ing tourist travel in the State during the Tercentenary year. Plans have 
been made for a travel workshop to be held in April and May to acquaint 
agencies and others interested in tourist trade with Tercentenary plans 
and opportunities in 1963. 

The literary sub-committee, a part of the Committee on the Arts, 
recently announced a $3,000 literary contest which should be of particular 
interest to all North Carolina authors and writers. This contest is open 
to all who have maintained either legal or actual physical residence in the 
State for a total period of three years. Each entry must be an original 
published work concerned with North Carolina history prior to the Ameri- 
can Revolution. All entries and inquiries should be mailed to Box 1881, 
Raleigh. 

There were five additions to the present staff during the last quarter. 
Mr. Robert C. Page, III, of Charlotte joined the staff as Public Informa- 
tion Officer. He was formerly associated with the Charlotte Observer, 
WIS-TV in Columbia, South Carolina, and WBTV in Charlotte. Working 
with Mr. Page as his secretary is Mrs. Billie Couch. Mrs. Grace Hale, 
formerly of Rocky Mount, is now employed as General Phillips' secretary. 
Two part-time stenographers have been added to the Colonial Records 
staff : Mrs. Audrey Piner and Mrs. Carol Teachout. 

Director's Office 

On December 12 the Governor Richard Caswell Memorial Commission 
adopted plans for the landscaping of the site which were prepared by 
Mr. Richard C. Bell, landscape architect of Raleigh, Mr. W. S. Tarlton, 
Superintendent of Historic Sites, and Dr. Christopher Crittenden, Director 
of the Department. Dr. Crittenden announces that, as a result of action 
taken in December, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation has granted $7,000 
to the Department of Archives and History for the restoration of the 
Birthplace of Wake Forest College in Wake Forest. The grant was made 
available "provided sufficient funds are received from other sources to 
complete this restoration." The Department has worked closely with the 
Wake Forest College Birthplace Society in attempting to preserve this 
historic building, familiarly known as the Calvin Jones House. On January 
15 the Executive Board of the Roanoke Island Historical Association met 
in Raleigh and elected Mr. Edgar Thomas of Chapel Hill as Business 
Manager of "The Lost Colony," historical outdoor drama. Mr. Thomas 
was formerly connected with the Alumni Office of the University of North 



252 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Carolina. Mrs. Fred W. Morrison of Kill Devil Hills and Washington, D. C, 
is chairman of the Association and Mrs. Burwell A. Evans of Manteo is 
Secretary. On January 19 Dr. Crittenden attended the meeting in Chapel 
Hill of the Advisory Editorial Board of the Colonial Records project of 
the Carolina Charter Tercentenary Commission. He was present for the 
luncheon meeting and the opening of a special exhibit at the Greensboro 
Historical Museum on January 25. He met on February 6 with members of 
the Executive Committee of the North Carolina Literary and Historical 
Association and representatives of a number of other cultural societies to 
discuss plans for the annual Culture Week to be held in December, 1962. 
On February 14 the Raleigh Historic Sites Commission held its organi- 
zational meeting. The program of the Commission, its plans, and its pro- 
jects were discussed. Previously appointed as members were Mrs. Edward 
Waugh, Chairman; Mr. William Henley Deitrick, Vice-Chairman; Miss 
Beth G. Crabtree, Secretary; Mr. Armistead J. Maupin, Treasurer; Dr. 
Christopher Crittenden, Consultant ; Mrs. Raymond L. Murray, Mrs. Bruce 
R. Carter, Mr. W. S. Tarlton, Mr. Henry D. Haywood, Mr. Edwin 
Preston, Jr., and Mr. Jonathan Daniels. This group is expected to work 
closely with the City Planning Commission and to serve in an advisory 
capacity to the City Council. Meetings will be held the first Tuesday of 
each month. 

Division of Archives and Manuscripts 

Mr. H. G. Jones, State Archivist and Treasurer of the Society of Ameri- 
can Archivists, and Mr. T. W. Mitchell, Assistant State Archivist and 
Chairman of the Society's Nominating Committee, met with members of 
the Council of that organization in Washington, D. C, December 27-29, 
in conjunction with the meetings of the American Historical Association. 
On December 11-15 Mr. Jones attended conferences in Dover, Delaware, 
and Washington, D. C, and on January 31-February 2 he represented the 
Society of American Archivists at the meeting in Chicago of the Survey 
and Standards Committee of the Survey of Library Functions of the 
States. 

Mr. Francis J. Fallon, Secretary General of the National Archives of 
Argentina, visited the Department on December 5 and discussed archival 
problems and practices. 

In the Archives Section almost 600 persons registered for research 
during the quarter ending December 31, and 654 persons were given in- 
formation by mail. These figures do not include visitors and inquiries 
handled directly by the staff without reference to the Search Room. The 
following numbers of copies were furnished during the same period : 639 
photocopies ; 25 paper prints from microfilm ; 68 typed certified copies ; 
and 25 feet of negative microfilm. 

Significant records accessioned recently include the official papers of 
Governor Luther H. Hodges for the year 1960. Work has been completed 
on processing the records of the office of State Comptroller and State 
Treasurer from the colonial period through the nineteenth century. 



Historical News 253 

The Local Records Section completed arranging 110 boxes of Hyde 
County estates, court and miscellaneous papers, and 58 boxes of Forsyth 
County estates and guardian papers. These are now available to researchers 
visiting the Department. Work continues on the arrangement of Bertie, 
Chowan, and colonial court papers. 

Records have been received from Northampton and Alamance counties. 
From the former 24 volumes and 96 cubic feet of court and estates records, 
deeds, dowers, and miscellaneous material were received, and from the 
latter 20 volumes of court and estates records were received. 

The security microfilming of permanently valuable records continues 
with camera crews now working in Johnston and Duplin counties. Anson 
County is next on the schedule. 

The Advisory Committee on County Records, established by the Director 
on December 7, met in the Department on January 9 and is engaged in 
the revision of The County Records Manual, published by the Department 
in 1960. Membership on the Committee includes : Mr. W. E. Church, Clerk 
of Superior Court, Forsyth County; Mr. P. W. Davenport, Assistant Tax 
Collector, Mecklenburg County and City of Charlotte ; Mr. G. K. Eubank, 
Auditor-County Accountant, Onslow County; Mr. R. G. Hall, Jr., Assistant 
Director, Institute of Government, and Secretary, North Carolina Associa- 
tion of Clerks of Superior Court; Mr. L. R. Johnson, Register of Deeds, 
Chatham County; Mr. H. G. Jones, State Archivist; Mr. H. W. Lewis, 
Assistant Director, Institute of Government, and Secretary, North Caro- 
lina Association of City and County Tax Collectors ; Mr. A. M. Markham, 
Assistant Director, Institute of Government, and Secretary, North Caro- 
lina Association of Registers of Deeds; Mr. D. M. McLelland, Clerk of 
Superior Court, Alamance County; Mr. J. R. Nipper, Clerk of Superior 
Court, Wake County; Rear Admiral A. M. Patterson, Assistant State 
Archivist (Local Records) ; Mr. F. G. Perry, Tax Supervisor, Forsyth 
County; and Mrs. Christine W. Williams, Register of Deeds, Duplin 
County. 

In the State Records Management Section, the expanded program was 
inaugurated in January with the support of Governor Terry Sanford and 
Mr. Hugh Cannon, Director of the State Department of Administration. 

On January 24 Governor Sanford in a letter to all agency heads called 
attention to the expanded records management program administered by 
the Department in accordance with legislation enacted by the General 
Assembly in 1961. The Governor noted that the initial emphasis of the 
program would be the completion of the inventories and schedules of all 
State records. As a guide to achieve this goal, the Department issued a 
Records Management Handbook: Records Disposition late in January. This 
21-page offset publication was prepared by Mr. T. W. Mitchell, Assistant 
State Archivist for State Records, and staff members. A meeting of all 
agency Records Officers was held on February 14 at which the over-all 
records management program was discussed as were the steps that are 
necessary to complete the scheduling phase. Dr. Christopher Crittenden, 
Director of the Department; Mr. H. G. Jones, State Archivist; and Mr. 



254 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Hugh Cannon, Director of the State Department of Administration, par- 
ticipated in the discussion along with Mr. Mitchell. 

Inventorying and scheduling activities were devoted principally to major 
revisions of the Department of Public Instruction and Board of Education 
schedules during the period ending February 15. The schedule for the 
Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System was being revised also. 
Amendments to the Motor Vehicles, Department of Labor, Department of 
Archives and History, State Highway Commission, and Probation Com- 
mission schedules have also recently been adopted. 

In the State Records Center, 1,510 cubic feet of records were accessioned 
and 1,274 cubic feet were disposed of, resulting in a net gain of 236 cubic 
feet. Agency representatives visited the Center 195 times to use records ; 
and the Center staff handled 400 reference requests for 16 agencies. Plans 
have been prepared to increase the capacity of the Records Center by 
12,400 cubic feet through additional shelving. 

The Microfilm Project filmed 207 reels of microfilm during the quarter 
ending December 31, with a total of 983,493 images. An unusually large 
amount of time was spent in preparing material for filming. 

Mr. Alexander R. Tuten joined the staff of the State Records Manage- 
ment Section on February 1, 1962. 

A twelve-page brochure, North Carolina Newspapers on Microfilm: A 
Checklist of Early North Carolina Newspapers Available on Microfilm 
from the State Department of Archives and History, has been released 
and is available from the State Archivist, P. O. Box 1881, Raleigh, for 
twenty-five cents per copy. The checklist contains a descriptive list of 
issues available for all titles completed prior to February 15, 1962. More 
than 100 titles are included. Supplemental lists will be published from time 
to time. 

Division of Historic Sites 

Mr. Frank Walsh, formerly with the Kansas State Historical Society, 
Topeka, has been appointed as Exhibits Designer of the Division of 
Historic Sites, effective April 1. Bid opening on the Town Creek Museum- 
Visitor Center was held on January 11 in the office of Mr. W. S. Tarlton, 
Superintendent of the Division of Historic Sites. Contracts have been 
awarded to low bidders as follows: General, J. V. Barger and Company, 
Mooresville; Electrical, Winecoff Electric Company, Albemarle; Heating, 
Scholl Plumbing and Heating, Rockingham ; and Plumbing, Clyde Whitley, 
Albemarle. The building is expected to be completed this spring. Mr. 
Tarlton attended a meeting of the North Carolina Travel Council in Char- 
lotte on February 3, and on February 10 he spoke briefly on Civil War 
historic sites at the Confederate Centennial Workshop and attended a 
meeting of the Raleigh Historic Sites Commission. He spoke on February 
15 to the Mecklenburg County Committee, Colonial Dames, on historic 
sites in North Carolina. On February 27 Mr. Tarlton spoke to the Watauga 
Club in Raleigh, and during the month of February he visited the Arcadia 
Community in Davidson County and inspected an early log schoolhouse and 
reported his findings to the local people. If it is decided to restore this 
building, the Division will serve in an advisory capacity. 



Historical News 255 

The Division has reactivated its Historical Highway Marker Program 
and on February 1 Mr. Richard Iobst transferred from the Confederate 
Centennial Commission to the Division to conduct the marker program. 
He will continue to serve as historical adviser to the commemorative com- 
missions. On February 6 he spoke to the Swansboro Historical Commission 
on a Confederate fort located nearby and other aspects of the Civil War 
in the area. He spoke on February 8 at ceremonies commemorating the 
1862 Battle of Roanoke Island, and on February 16 he visited New Bern 
and Swansboro in connection with the marker program. Mr. Iobst has 
prepared an information sheet concerning the new program and a policy 
outline is awaiting completion. 

Miss Nan Pattullo, Edinburgh, Scotland, a professional lecturer, photo- 
graphed the interior of the Zebulon B. Vance Birthplace State Historic 
Site on February 5 for inclusion in a group of color slides made during 
her current tour of the United States under the auspices of the English- 
Speaking Union. It is expected that she will show the slides to audiences 
on her return to the United Kingdom. Col. Paul A. Rockwell, immediate 
past president of the Western North Carolina Historical Association, 
accompanied Miss Pattullo to the site. Mr. Robert 0. Conway, Site 
Specialist at the Vance Birthplace, has spoken recently on the historic 
sites program to the following groups : the Biltmore Kiwanis Club, Rhodo- 
dendron Club, and the Wilshire Park Community Club. From February 4 
to 10 he presented seven programs in the Asheville and Buncombe County 
schools, the first in a series of programs to be given also to schools in other 
counties of the mountain area. The Vance Birthplace attracted 4,501 
counted visitors in 1961. 

Specific invitations have been extended to school classes of North Caro- 
lina history to arrange visits to Alamance Battleground State Historic 
Site as a part of their customary annual tours of the State capital and 
other places of interest. Mr. Walter R. Wootten, Historic Site Specialist at 
the Battleground, states that the educational program at the site has been 
completed and includes a slide-lecture, distribution of literature on the 
State's historic sites, special exhibits, and a tour of the battlefield. Mr. 
Wootten has been appointed to represent Alamance County on the Travel 
and Recreation Committee of the Northern Piedmont Development Asso- 
ciation, an organization which has as one of its objectives to publicize the 
Alamance Battleground site as a tourist attraction. 

Museum construction is underway at Town Creek Indian Mound State 
Historic Site with the J. V. Barger Construction Company handling the 
general contract. Initial planning for exhibits for the new museum has 
been undertaken by Mr. Bennie C. Keel, Archeologist in charge, and Dr. 
Joffre L. Coe of the University of North Carolina. The plans will be turned 
over to the new Exhibits Designer, Mr. Frank Walsh, for execution. It is 
hoped that the exhibits will be completely installed by October. During 
January Mr. Keel spoke to the Troy Parent-Teachers Association and to 



256 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the men of the Albemarle Lutheran Church on phases of the work at Town 
Creek. He has worked closely with the Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts 
of America Council for Anson, Montgomery, Richmond, and Stanly coun- 
ties in the preparation of a new lodge focused on the culture of the Town 
Creek inhabitants. In December two test excavations were made in one 
of the major village sites on the Indians who lived in the Pee Dee basin, 
using the Town Creek Mound as their political and ceremonial center. 
Investigation of this site and others similar are needed for a better under- 
standing of the daily life of these people. Plans have been made for two 
television presentations in the early spring. Mr. Lee Kinard of WFMY-TV 
of Greensboro will return to the site and focus one program on the re- 
stored mortuary and the second show, entitled "Indians of the North Caro- 
lina Piedmont/ ' will be filmed in Charlotte as a part of the Charlotte 
Children's Nature Museum series produced by WSOC-TV of Charlotte. 
Paving of the access road to the site is scheduled for April. 

The restoration of the exterior of the old one-room schoolhouse recently 
purchased and moved to the Charles B. Aycock Birthplace State Historic 
Site by the Charles B. Aycock Memorial Commission has been completed 
by the E. F. Taylor Company of Goldsboro. Work included a new wooden 
shingle roof, a new chimney, replacing weatherboarding, and new doors 
and windows made by Langdon Woodworks of Dunn. The schoolhouse when 
completed will serve as an educational exhibit and as an assembly room for 
visitors to the site. Ten old two-seated type desks were presented to the 
site by the Pitt County Board of Education. Mr. Richard W. Sawyer, Jr., 
Historic Site Specialist in charge of the Aycock Birthplace, and other 
workers have removed the paint from the desks, washed the walls and 
ceiling and repainted them, and installed wooden blackboards (three of 
which are original) to reproduce the identical appearance of the interior. 
Mr. Sawyer made trips to Kenly, Elm City, Winterville, and New Hill to 
locate additional desks and other furnishings. Two desks were found and 
completion of the schoolhouse is slated for late spring. On February 8 
Mr. Sawyer met in Fayetteville with Mr. Mason Hicks, architect for the 
Aycock Museum-Visitor Center. Construction of the center will begin in 
the early summer. The Fremont Garden Club has again presented the site 
with flower bulbs which have been planted at the sign on Highway 117 and 
at the entrance road to the site. 

Mr. Stanley A. South, Archeologist in charge of the Brunswick Town 
State Historic Site, recently uncovered the palisade wall posts during ex- 
cavations at Fort Fisher. He has also prepared a report on the ceramics 
from the ruins of Brunswick Town. He has prepared reports on the follow- 
ing excavations : the George Hooper House in Wilmington, the Ringware 
House in Swansboro, and an Indian mound near Brunswick Town. He has 
completed reports on "Nath Moore's front," the John Fergus House, the 
Hepburn-Reonaldi House, and the Roger Moore House in Brunswick. Work 
continues on clearing the ruins around Brunswick Pond, and some of the 
ruins of the James Espy outbuildings have been located. Mr. South has 
been working with the North Carolina Garden Clubs Council on the pro- 



Historical News 257 

posed restoration of the formal garden of Judge Maurice Moore in Bruns- 
wick. He gave talks to the Defiance Chapter of the Daughters of the 
American Revolution in Wilmington and to a number of Boy Scout troops 
and school groups during the quarter ending March 31. 

Mr. A. L. Honeycutt, Jr., Historic Site Specialist at Fort Fisher, reports 
that during recent excavations of a section of the palisade fence (originally 
nine-feet high, sharpened logs with a three-foot sand embankment behind) , 
about two feet of the old pine logs were found to be well preserved. A 
portion has been left exposed and another portion reconstructed as an 
outdoor display at the site. Battery Buchanan has been cleared and picnic 
tables have been placed there for visitors. On January 7 Mr. Honeycutt 
spoke briefly on Fort Fisher at the district meeting of the Daughters of 
the American Revolution in Carolina Beach and on January 24 he attended 
the Fort Fisher-Southport ferry hearing before members of the State 
Highway Commission in Southport, where he talked briefly on the im- 
portance of the Fort Fisher site in development of the area. He attended 
the January 29 meeting of the Lower Cape Fear Archaeological Society 
at Wilmington College and on February 1 attended a meeting of the 
Wilmington Merchants Association to assist in planning a tour-a-rama of 
the Wilmington area to be held in late March. The George Davis Chapter, 
Children of the Confederacy, on February 3 presented Mr. Honeycutt with 
a check for $75 with which to buy flags for Fort Fisher. On February 12 
Mr. Honeycutt spoke to the Carolina Beach Lions Club on Fort Fisher. A 
committee composed of Mrs. Alice Strickland, Mr. Glenn M. Tucker, Hon. 
Robert Calder, Mr. Mike Hall, Mr. John Williams, Mr. Frank Turner, 
Mr. Ray Brady, Mr. W. S. Tarlton, Dr. Christopher Crittenden, and Mr. 
Honeycutt met with Governor Terry Sanford on February 14 to request 
funds from the Contingency and Emergency Fund to purchase 12 acres of 
private property essential to the development of Fort Fisher. The acreage 
contains the remains of three well-preserved gun emplacements and 
mounds of land defense, the section of land defense to be reconstructed 
across the World War II airstrip, the permanent Museum-Visitor Center 
and parking area site, and access to the section of land defense now 
exhibited by the State. Since August, 1961, visitors have parked at the end 
3f an active airstrip and have walked three-tenths of a mile to the State 
property. On February 19 Mr. Honeycutt attended the meeting of the New 
Hanover County Confederate Centennial Committee at which time plans 
were made for a May 10 Confederate Memorial Day Service to be held 
at Fort Fisher. The Museum-Pavilion will be dedicated at the same time. 
Dn February 21 he attended the sixteenth annual Southeastern North 
Carolina Beach Association banquet held in Wilmington. 

Mr. Nicholas B. Bragg, Historic Site Specialist for the Bentonville 
Battleground and Bennett Place State Historic Sites, represented the 
Department in Rocky Mount on November 14 at the organizational meeting 
Df the Nash County Historical Society. He assisted during recent months 
with the development of the Averasboro Battleground Site, making a 
preliminary survey and later presenting a master plan to the Chicora 



258 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy as a guide. On 
November 28 he spoke to the Bentonville Battleground-Harper House 
Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, on "North Carolina in 
the Civil War — 1865," and on December 5 he installed a temporary display 
at the Bennett Place in preparation for the open house on December 10. 
In the December 23 issue of The Raleigh Times, Mr. Bragg had an article, 
"Johnston vs. Sherman in the Battle of Bentonville. ,, On January 23 he 
gave a slide-lecture on the Civil War in North Carolina in 1865 to stu- 
dents at the Seymour Johnson Junior High School, Goldsboro, and gave 
the same program on February 2 to two twelfth grade history classes at 
Needham Broughton High School, Raleigh. He repeated this lecture on 
February 15 to the Benson Kiwanis Club. He spoke on "The Importance 
of Bentonville" to the Wake County Committee of the Battleground Ad- 
visory Committee at Balentine's Restaurant on January 25 and on Janu- 
ary 29 he had a topographical survey done of the Bennett Place in order 
to facilitate future development. The fund-raising drive under the auspices 
of the Bentonville Battleground Advisory Committee was begun on Feb- 
ruary 6 with a donation from Governor Terry Sanf ord. The campaign is 
concentrated primarily in Wake, Johnston, Wayne, Harnett, and Sampson 
counties. Recent improvements at the site include the painting of the 
Harper House with the original colors — white with dark green trim and 
apple green ceilings on the porches. Plans for the Museum- Visitor Center, 
to be built with funds raised by the Advisory Committee, are being pre- 
pared by Ingram and Johnson, Architects, of Charlotte. A topographical 
survey of the site has been made to aid in planning construction of the 
museum. 

Mr. Max F. Harris, on special assignment with the Division of Historic 
Sites to investigate the problem of Andrew Jackson's birthplace — whether 
in present-day Union County, North Carolina, or in present-day Lancaster 
County, South Carolina — has been preparing a preliminary report after 
utilizing the available primary and secondary sources in the State Archives 
and the Southern Historical and North Carolina collections at the Univer- 
sity. Jackson said that he had been told he was born in South Carolina 
and referred to that State as his "native state." North Carolina's claim is 
substantiated by a number of affidavits dated around 1858. The two sites 
in dispute — the loghouse of George McCamie and the home of James 
Crawford, uncles of Jackson — are both in the Waxhaws less than two miles 
apart. Mr. Harris is interested in receiving information from primary 
sources relating to this problem and may be contacted at Box 1881, Raleigh. 

Division of Museums 

On December 1 the Victorian Christmas Exhibit was opened to the public 
in the Hall of History. It consisted of a Victorian parlor, occupied by a 
family, overlooking a street scene of the early 1900 , s. 

Mrs. Joye E. Jordan, Museums Administrator, spoke to the Daughters 
of the American Revolution on November 27 in Lenoir on "Colonial Silver 
and Silversmiths." On the same date she spoke to the Caldwell County 



Historical News 259 

Historical Society on organizing a small museum. On December 14 Mrs. 
Frances Ashford, Education Curator of the Division, gave a talk on "Early 
Christmases in North Carolina" to a group of students from the Josephus 
Daniels Junior High School in Raleigh. Mrs. Jordan, Mrs. Madlin Futrell, 
Photographer, and Mr. Robert Mayo, Exhibits Designer, were in Kinston 
m December 18 to photograph artifacts from the Ram "Neuse" and to 
idvise local persons on their care. On January 9 Mrs. Jordan presented a 
slide-lecture on the Tryon Palace restoration to the Country Clods Garden 
ZJlub and gave the same lecture to the Reviewers Book Club on January 
IS. Both clubs are in Raleigh. Mrs. Sue Todd, Mrs. Bonnie Walker, and 
Mrs. Futrell were in Weaverville January 21-25 to accession and photo- 
graph items at the Zebulon B. Vance Birthplace. On January 25 Mrs. 
rordan attended the Council meeting of the American Association of 
Museums in Washington, D. C. From January 30 through February 1 
Mrs. Jordan, Mrs. Todd, Mr. Mayo, and Mr. John Ellington, Exhibits 
Durator, were in Charlotte for the opening of the new regional Allstate 
insurance Building. At the opening a new Civil War medical exhibit, de- 
signed and built by Mr. Mayo and Mr. Ellington, was presented to the 
State of North Carolina by Allstate. In this connection, a booklet, Civil 
rfar Medicine and Home Remedies, written by Mrs. Jordan, was distrib- 
ited. During the stay in Charlotte this group inspected a number of arti- 
f acts to determine whether or not their purchase was feasible. The Hall of 
listory presented on February 2 a lingerie fashion show, "Then and Now," 
;o the wives attending the Engineers Convention in Raleigh. On Feb- 
•uary 9 Mrs. Jordan was in Goldsboro to assist a group of citizens planning 
i Wayne County museum. Mrs. Jordan and several members of the staff 
)f the Hall of History participated in the North Carolina Confederate 
Centennial Commission Workshop on February 10. Mrs. Ashford and 
Mrs. Jordan were in Creedmoor to work with Granville County teachers 
md students in organizing Junior Historian associations. At present there 
ire 60 active clubs in the State for whom two magazines have been pub- 
ished and distributed for their use as well as a "how to" projects manual 
r or teachers. 

division of Publications 

The Division of Publications has continued to publicize its program, and 
he efforts have resulted in increased sales. During the quarter October 1 
hrough December 31, 1961, receipts from the sale of publications totaled 
55,889.62. Distributed during this period were 43 documentary volumes, 
>85 small books, 1,040 governors' letter books, and 22,592 pamphlets, maps, 
harts, and brochures. During the same period there were 49 new sub- 
scriptions and 454 renewals to The North Carolina Historical Review. 

The successful sale of sets of The Review is being extended to accom- 
nodate those who failed to send their orders in before March 31. Through 
February 14 a total of 89 sets had been sold; in addition, numbers of 
>eople bought separate volumes to complete their sets. At $25, The Revietv 
las been in demand, despite the fact that several issue are out of print, 
lumbers of persons and agencies have taken advantage of the sale and 
ater subscribed. 



260 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The change in format of The North Carolina Historical Review has met 
with an unexpected amount of favorable comment. Numbers of letters and 
telephone calls, as well as visits to the Division, have indicated that the 
changes were approved by subscribers and other readers of the quarterly. 

Because of continued demand for Dr. A. R. Newsome's two-part article, 
"Records of Emigrants from England and Scotland to North Carolina, 
1774-1775," first published in the January and April, 1934, issues of The 
North Carolina Historical Review, the study has been reissued in pamphlet 
form. A copy may be purchased from the Division of Publications for 
twenty-five cents. 

Mrs. Betsy J. Gunter, Editorial Assistant I, resigned as of January 31 
and was replaced by Mrs. Mary A. Holloway on February 19. 

The R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company donated $500 to be used in the 
publication of a brief study of the history of the tobacco industry in North 
Carolina. Mr. Jerome E. Brooks, author of The Mighty Leaf, has agreed 
to write the pamphlet as an addition to the series designed for school 
children. Pamphlets on North Carolina's role in the Spanish-American 
War, the War of 1812, World War I, and World War II are in the process 
of being written. Other subjects to be included in the Division's pamphlet 
series are North Carolina's signers of the Declaration of Independence and 
the Constitution, gold mining in the State, a history of the furniture 
industry, a history of the textile industry, ante-bellum transportation, 
ante-bellum agriculture, a history of colleges and universities in North 
Carolina, and a history of literature in the State, all of which are being 
prepared at present. 

A grant of $15,000 from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation will permit 
the publication of two additional volumes in the series, The Records of the 
Moravians. The editing is being done by Dr. Minnie J. Smith. Mrs. Memory 
F. Blackwelder, Editor, went to Winston-Salem on March 1 to confer with 
representatives of the Moravian Archives concerning the publication of 
these volumes. Plans were made to publicize the fact that Volume VIII of 
The Records is still available for $3.00 from the State Department of 
Archives and History. 

Editors are now working on the papers of the Pettigrew family and 
Governors Ellis, Jarvis, and Glenn. The second volume of the Hodges 
Letter Book and the fourth volume of the Papers of William A. Graham 
should be available within the next few months. 

Mrs. Blackwelder spoke to a class at Meredith College on January 16 
and to the Wake County Committee, Colonial Dames, on January 18 ; she 
participated in a panel on publications at the Confederate Centennial 
Workshop on February 10. Mrs. Blackwelder attended the luncheon meet- 
ing of the Greensboro Historical Museum members in Greensboro on 
January 25. She was recently appointed chairman of the committee on 
local historical societies of the North Carolina Literary and Historical 
Association. 



Historical News 261 

COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES 

The following members of the Department of History of the University 
of North Carolina presented papers at the seventy-sixth annual meeting 
of the American Historical Association in Washington, D. C, December 
28-30 : Dr. Fletcher M. Green, "Johnny Reb Could Read" ; Dr. Stephen B. 
Baxter, "William III : The Professional Soldier in a Civilian Society" ; and 
Dr. Henry C. Boren, "Social Justice in the Roman Republic." Dr. James E. 
King was Discussant at the session, "England and France in the Seven- 
teenth Century." 

Dr. Burton F. Beers of the Department of History and Political Science, 
North Carolina State College, read a paper, "China and Japan through 
American Eyes," at the first Southeastern Regional Conference on Asia 
held at Duke University, Durham, on January 27. Dr. Beers had an article, 
"Robert Lansing and His Policy toward Japan," translated into Japanese 
with notes on Japanese views of Lansing by Akira Iriye for publication in 
Kokusai Seiji (no. 1, 1961). He is the author of Vain Endeavor: Robert 
Lansing's Attempts to End the American-Japanese Rivalry published 
early this year by the Duke University Press. Mr. Sheldon F. Koesy and 
Mr. Frederic S. LeClercq joined the faculty, effective February 5, as 
part-time Instructors. Dr. Preston W. Edsall, Head of the Department, 
was elected in November, 1961, as President of the North Carolina Chap- 
ter of the American Society for Public Administration. 

Dr. Henry S. Stroupe, Head of the Department of History of Wake 
Forest College, announces that Dr. Ottis C. Skipper, Professor of History, 
Mississippi State College for Women, will be visiting Professor of History 
at Wake Forest College during the Summer Session of 1962. Dr. Balkrishna 
G. Gokhale spoke on "The Western Impact on the Indian Caste System" at 
the Miami, Florida, meeting of the Southern Regional Meeting of the Ameri- 
can Sociological Association. He is the author of an article, "India, America 
and Cornwallis," published in the Journal of Indian History, XXXIX 
(1961). Dr. Gokhale's book, Indian Thought through the Ages, was pub- 
lished by Asia Publishing House late in 1961. Dr. David L. Smiley's book, 
The Lion of White Hall: The Life of Cassius M. Clay, was published in Jan- 
uary by the University of Wisconsin Press. Dr. Smiley was on leave for the 
winter semester and taught at the University of Wisconsin. 

Dr. Donald G. Gillin, a specialist in Chinese history, was recently assigned 
the Far East Courses in the Department of History at Duke University and 
Dr. Charles Young has been assigned to conduct a senior-graduate course 
on Europe during the Middle Ages (395-1500). The Department has been 
accorded an endowed William K. Boyd Professorship, which is to be 
awarded to an outstanding historian not currently a member of the Depart- 
ment. The new chair has not yet been filled. Dr. Alfred P. Tischendorf and 
Dr. J. Fred Rippy co-authored an article, "The San Jose Conference of 
American Foreign Ministers," which was published in Inter-American 



262 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Economic Affairs (Winter, 1961). Mrs. Anne Scott, Visiting Professor, 
had an article, "Saint Jane and the Ward Boss," in American Heritage 
(December, 1961). Dr. Frederic B. M. Hollyday is editing for publication 
the posthumous volume of E. Malcolm Carroll, The Western Powers and 
Soviet Russia, 1917-21. 

STATE, COUNTY, AND LOCAL 

Mr. Manly Wade Wellman of Chapel Hill spoke at the November 22 
meeting of the Moore County Historical Society. Mr. Wellman is writing 
the second volume of the history of Moore County which is scheduled for 
publication late in 1962. Mr. John A. McPhaul, Treasurer, gave a report. 
On January 30 Mr. Edmund Harding of Washington spoke to the same 
group in Southern Pines. Approximately 100 guests and members were 
present for the meeting and the social hour which followed at Shaw House 
in honor of Mr. Harding. Mr. Norris L. Hodgkins is President of the 
Society and presided at both meetings. 

The Union County Historical Society met November 30, 1961, and re- 
elected Mr. S. Glenn Hawfield President for 1961-1962 and Mr. W. R. 
Bogan President for 1962-1963. Other officers elected to serve two years 
were Mr. E. H. Broome, Vice-President; Mrs. J. Conley Baucom, Secre- 
tary ; and Mr. Claude Eubanks, Treasurer. The Society, which was organ- 
ized five years ago, has as one of its projects the restoration of the George 
McCamie cabin site where some historians have stated that Andrew 
Jackson was born. 

The Wayne County Historical Society met December 7 with Mr. Stanley 
A. South as principal speaker. Mr. R. L. Cox of Mt. Olive, President, 
presided. It was announced that the new Wayne County history by Mrs. 
Eleanor B. Powell will be published in 1962. Advance orders at $10.00 
per copy may be placed with Mr. B. G. Stowe, 318 E. Mulberry Street, 
Goldsboro. 

The Christ Church Rectory in Raleigh has been officially recognized by 
the United States Department of the Interior as a historic building. The 
certificate, received by the Reverend B. B. Sapp, Rector, was signed by 
Mr. Robert E. Smith, Chief Architect, and Secretary of the Interior 
Stewart L. Udall. Originally housing the North Carolina State Bank, the 
building dates from about 1818 and was converted into a rectory in 1873. 
Drawings used to obtain official recognition are on file at the Library of 
Congress and the North Carolina State College School of Design. They 
were done by Mr. J. M. Peterson, Mr. I. M. Zubizarreta, and Mr. Charles H. 
Kahn. 

The Catawba County Historical Association met on December 9 in 
Newton with Mr. J. Weston Clinard of Hickory as principal speaker. The 
group met again in January with Mr. Tom Warlick, Mr. Paul Wagner, 



Historical News 263 

[iss Gladys Moody, and Mrs. Ray Setzer participating on the program, 
[rs. J. M. Ballard, President, presided at both meetings and announced 
te availability of reprints of the old Lincoln County marriage bonds 
L 769-1867). Mrs. James Nowell of Newton presented a song to the 
atawba Association at a meeting on February 10. The song was written 
/ Howard Earnshaw, father of Mrs. Nowell, who retired to Newton after 
;rving as conductor of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Symphony. It is a 
ibute to North Carolina, his adopted State. Mr. Neal Wilfong read a 
iper on pottery making in Catawba County. 

Mr. T. W. Ferguson read a paper on the Civil War at the January 15 
eeting of the Wilkes County Historical Society. 

The Wake County Historical Society met on December 20, 1961, to hear 
eneral John D. F. Phillips discuss the program of the Carolina Charter 
ercentenary Commission. Senator John R. Jordan, Jr., President, con- 
acted the business session. New officers elected were Dr. A. M. Fountain, 
resident ; Mrs. J. Bourke Bilisoly, Vice President ; Mrs. Memory F. Black- 
elder, Secretary; and Mr. Richard Seawell, Treasurer. 

The Burke County Historical Society met January 16 in Morganton with 
resident William A. Leslie presiding and Mrs. Paul Smith and Mrs. 
ubert Rutherford making the principal speeches. New officers are Mr. W. 
tanley Moore, President ; Dr. Robert Pascal, Mrs. Walter W. White, and 
[r. Samuel J. Ervin, III, all Vice-Presidents ; Mrs. Finley W. Davis, Secre- 
iry ; and Mrs. John I. Barrow, Treasurer. 

At the December meeting of the Gaston County Historical Society in 
astonia Mr. W. T. Robinson of Cherryville was elected President and 
[rs. Paul C. Jones of Belmont was elected Treasurer. Other officers have 
lother year to serve. Mr. William M. Craig gave a slide-lecture on in- 
astries in Gaston County. Forty members attended. The Society met on 
ebruary 2 in Dallas with Mrs. Carrie Puett Lewis as principal speaker, 
he talked on Dallas in the 1880's. 

Trustees of the Cherokee Historical Association named Mr. Carol White, 
[anager (for a five-and-one-half-year period) of "Unto These Hills," and 
vo other attractions for the coming season. A report showed 1961 income 
•om the drama was down $4,054 from 1960. The schedule for 1962 is: 
idian Museum — open March 1 to December 1; Oconaluftee Indian 
illage — open from May 15 through Labor Day (September 3) ; and "Unto 
hese Hills" — performed from June 26 through September 2. The nine- 
tenth National Congress of the American Indians met in Cherokee Sep- 
;mber 2-4, 1961, according to Chief O. B. Saunooke — the first time this 
ongress ever met east of the Mississippi River. More than 400 Indians 
btended the sessions planned by both the Tribal Council and the Cherokee 
historical Association as "Cherokee is looked upon as the model Reserva- 
on in the Nation." 



264 The North Carolina Historical Review 

A paper on Merriman Township history was read by Mrs. F. C. Salis- 
bury when the Carteret County Historical Society met at the Webb Civic 
Center in Morehead City on January 27. Mr. F. C. Salisbury, President, 
conducted the business meeting and paid tribute to Miss Amy Muse who 
recently moved to Charlotte. She has served as Curator for the Society for 
a number of years. 

The Brunswick County Historical Society met in the Parish House of 
St. Philips Episcopal Church in Southport on January 23 with Mrs. M. H. 
Rourk, President, presiding. The group voted to increase the number of 
meetings from four to six yearly (second Monday of every other month 
beginning with January). Mr. R. V. Asbury spoke briefly and members 
attending discussed ways to celebrate the Tercentenary of the Carolina 
Charter in Brunswick County. 

The Western North Carolina Historical Association met on January 27 
at Asheville-Biltmore College where they were greeted by Dr. Glenn 
Bushey, President, and led on a tour of the College. Mr. Weimar Jones, 
Editor of the Franklin News, made a talk and Col. Paul A. Rockwell spoke 
on "Sidelights of the Civil War in North Carolina." 

The Rockingham County Historical Society met February 27 at the 
Williamsburg School. Mr. Allen Lewis, President, presided. The program 
was based on the Civil War and members visited the Civil War exhibit 
at the school. 

The Rowan Museum News Letter for January, 1962, had articles on the 
Old Stone House, the membership drive, the registration room at the 
Museum, and letters from school children who have been visitors. Mrs. 
Gettys Guille is Director of the Rowan Museum. 

The February, 1962, issue of the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society 
Inc., Bulletin contains a message from President R. Jack Davis ; announce- 
ment of the February 14 meeting at which Mr. David Stick of Colington 
Island spoke on "Coastal North Carolina" ; an article, "Nineteenth Century 
Wall Painting in North Carolina," by Mr. Ben F. Williams of the North 
Carolina Museum of Art; and a reprinting of "Mrs. Whistlers Letters, 
1853-1877." 

The News Bulletin of the Moravian Music Foundation for the fall, 1961, 
noted the receipt of the merit award of the American Association for State 
and Local History by the Foundation, announced new members of the 
Board of Trustees, and cited Mr. Irving Lowens of the Library of Congress 
as winner of the first Moramus Award for distinguished service in the 
field of American Music. The Foundation is presently conducting its annual 
Friends of the Moravian Music Foundation membership drive. 



Historical News 265 

Officers elected on November 18 at the thirty-seventh annual meeting 
of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of North Carolina 
are : Dr. Sturgis E. Leavitt, Chapel Hill, Governor of the North Carolina 
Society, Assistant General of the National Society; Mrs. W. 0. Crotts of 
Charlotte, Secretary; Mrs. J. Frazier Glenn of Asheville, Treasurer; and 
Mrs. William T. Powell of High Point, Deputy Governor. The Society 
voted to present to Duke University a number of books donated to the 
Society by the late Burnham Standish Colburn. They will be cataloged as 
the Burnham Standish Colburn Collection of Mayflower Books. 

The National Park Service recently released figures showing that during 
the year 1961 there were 257,109 visitors to the Wright Brothers National 
Memorial at Kitty Hawk. 

The Nash County Historical Society held its organizational meeting on 
February 12, 1962. Officers elected were Mr. L. S. Inscoe of Nashville, 
President; Mr. Byron Hilliard of Rocky Mount, Vice-President; and 
Mrs. Frank Thigpen of Rocky Mount, Secretary-Treasurer. 

The Department recently received a brochure, written by Dick Gorrell 
and Bruce Roberts, on the U.S.S. "North Carolina." The history of the 
battleship is reviewed from the date Congress authorized the building of 
the ship on June 3, 1936, until she was brought to North Carolina in 1961. 
The profusely illustrated brochure also gives information on other ships 
which have borne the name "North Carolina." Copies are available for 
twenty-five cents each from the Heritage Printers, Inc., 501 West Fourth 
Street, Charlotte 2, North Carolina. 

On February 27 the Moores Creek Battleground Association and the 
Moores Creek Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, co- 
sponsored the 186th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Moores Creek 
Bridge. More than 85 persons attended the program in the Visitor Center 
at the National Military Park. Principal speakers were General John D. F. 
Phillips, Executive Secretary of the Carolina Charter Tercentenary Com- 
mission; Dr. William H. Wagoner, Superintendent of the New Hanover 
County Schools; and Mr. D. W. Lucas, President of the Pender County 
Historical Society. Also represented on the program were the Moores 
Creek, Rockfish, and Defiance Chapters of the Daughters of the Revolu- 
tion; the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy; and 
the National Park Service. Mr. S. Michael Hubbell is Park Historian at 
Moores Creek. 

A new book, Wilmington, North Carolina, Historic Area: A Part of the 
Future Land-Use Plan, by John Voorhees and Jerry Turner, was issued in 
March. It may be ordered for $2.00 per copy from the Division of Com- 
munity Planning, Department of Conservation and Development, Raleigh. 
The book is the result of a project to incorporate historic houses and land- 
marks into a rapidly expanding community of modern design. There are 






266 The North Carolina Historical Review 

numerous photographs by Mr. Chiles Larson of the Division of Advertising 
and a number of drawings and plates from the files on historic architecture 
of the School of Design at North Carolina State College. Mr. Voorhees 
directed the project and prepared the text ; Mr. Turner was responsible for 
the design and layout. 

MISCELLANEOUS 

The New-York Historical Society Quarterly, XLVI (January, 1962), 
published an article, "The Early Blockade and the Capture of the Hatteras 
Forts — -from the Journal of John Sanford Barnes . . . 1861." Edited by 
John D. Hayes and Lillian O'Brien, the manuscript journal is a part of 
the Naval History Collection of the Society. There are numerous illustra- 
tions in the 26-page article and the first page of Barnes' journal is repro- 
duced. Individual issues of The Quarterly may be purchased for $.75 
from The New- York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York 
24, N. Y. 

A volume of essays, based on papers presented at the 1960 meeting of 
the Philosophical Society of Texas, has recently been received by the 
Department. The 126-page book, Texas: Today and Tomorrow, was edited 
by Herbert Gambrell, with a preface by the President of the Society, 
George C. McGhee. Essays entitled "The Heritage and Goals of Texas," 
"Educational Resources in Texas," "The Wealth of Texas," and "The 
Economy of Texas," were written by W. St. John Garwood, Harry H. 
Ranson, Allan Shivers, and E. B. Germany. Published for the Society by 
the Southern Methodist University Press in Dallas, the book is available 
for $3.00. 



THE NORTH CAROLINA HISTORICAL REVIEW 
EDITORIAL POLICY 

The Editorial Board of The North Carolina Historical Review is 
interested in articles and documents pertaining to the history of North 
Carolina and adjacent States. Articles on the history of other sections 
may be submitted, and, if there are ties with North Carolinians or 
events significant in the history of this State, the Editorial Board will 
give them careful consideration. Articles on any aspect of North Caro- 
lina history are suitable subject-matter for The Review, but materials 
that are primarily genealogical are not accepted. 

In considering articles, the Editorial Board gives careful attention 
to the sources used, the form followed in the footnotes, the style in 
which the article is written, and the originality of the material and its 
interpretation. Clarity of thought and general interest of the article 
are of importance, though these two considerations would not, of 
course, outweigh inadequate use of sources, incomplete coverage of 
the subject, and inaccurate citations. 

Persons desiring to submit articles for The North Carolina Historical 
Review should request a copy of The Editors Handbook, which may 
be obtained free of charge from the Division of Publications of the De- 
partment of Archives and History. The Handbook contains informa- 
tion on footnote citations and other pertinent facts needed by writers 
for The Review. Each author should follow the suggestions made in 
The Editor's Handbook and should use back issues of The Noith Caro- 
lina Historical Review as a further guide to the accepted style and 
form. 

All copy should be double-spaced; footnotes should be typed on 
separate sheets at the end of the article. The author should submit an 
original and a carbon copy of the article; he should retain a second 
carbon for his own reference. Articles accepted by the Editorial Board 
become the property of The North Carolina Historical Review and 
may not have been or be published elsewhere. The author should in- 
clude his professional title in the covering letter accompanying his 
article. 

Following acceptance of an article, publication will be scheduled in 
accordance with the established policy of the Editorial Board. Since 
usually a large backlog of material is on hand, there will ordinarily be 
a fairly long period between acceptance and publication. 

The editors are also interested in receiving for review books relating 
to the history of North Carolina and the surrounding area. 

Articles and books for review should be sent to the Division of Pub- 
lications, State Department of Archives and History, Box 1881, Ra- 
leigh, North Carolina. 



?/3 

76e 



fclprth .Carolina State Library 
Raleigh 
















cunmen, 



ms 



The North Carolina Historical Review 



Christopher Crittenden, Editor in Chief 
Mrs. Memory F. Blackwelder, Editor 
Mrs. Elizabeth W. Wilborn, Editorial Associate 

ADVISORY EDITORIAL BOARD 

Frontis W. Johnston Miss Sarah M. Lemmon 

John R. Jordan, Jr. William S. Powell 

Robert H. Woody 



STATE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY 
EXECUTIVE BOARD 

McDaniel Lewis, Chairman 

James W. Atkins Ralph P. Hanes 

Miss Gertrude Sprague Carraway Josh L. Horne 

Fletcher M. Green Daniel J. Whitener 

Christopher Crittenden, Director 



This review was established in January, 1924, as a medium of publication and dis- 
cussion of history in North Carolina. It is issued to other institutions by exchange, 
but to the general public by subscription only. The regular price is $3.00 per year. 
Members of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, Inc., for which 
the annual dues are $5.00, receive this publication without further payment. Back 
numbers may be purchased at the regular price of $3.00 per volume, or $.75 per 
number. The review is published quarterly by the State Department of Archives and 
History, Education Building, Corner of Edenton and Salisbury Streets. Second class 
postage paid at Raleigh, North Carolina, 



COVER — The photograph of a Ku Klux Klan uniform worn by one of 
the Klan in North Carolina in 1870 was furnished by the Buffalo and 
Erie County Historical Society, Buffalo, New York. For an article on the 
Ku Klux Klan, see pages 340-362. 



^¥i4to>Ucal Review 

Volume XXXIX Published in July, 1962 Number 3 



CONTENTS 

RELIGIOUS TOLERATION AND POLITICS IN 

EARLY NORTH CAROLINA 267 

Haskell Monroe 



DANIEL WORTH: TAR HEEL ABOLITIONIST 284 

Noble J. Tolbert 

SAGA OF A BURKE COUNTY FAMILY, 

CONCLUSION 305 

Edward W. Phifer 



THE KU KLUX KLAN: A STUDY IN RECONSTRUCTION 
POLITICS AND PROPAGANDA 340 

Otto H. Olsen 



LITTLETON FEMALE COLLEGE 363 

Ralph Hardee Rives 



BOOK REVIEWS 378 

HISTORICAL NEWS 402 






BOOK REVIEWS 

Hickerson, Echoes of Happy Valley, 

by Edward W. Phifer 378 

Blythe and Brockmann, Hornet's Nest: The Story of 

Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, by Paul W. Wager 379 

Hand, The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina 

Folklore, Volume VI, Popular Beliefs and Superstitions, 

by I. G. Greer 380 

Boykin, North Carolina in 1861, by Noble J. Tolbert 382 

Puryear, Democratic Party Dissension in North Carolina, 

1928-1936, by Christopher Crittenden 383 

Bradshaw, Toward the Dawn: History of the First Quarter- 
Century of the North Carolina State Association for 

the Blind, by Bernadette W. Hoyle 384 

Wish, Ante-Bellum: Writings of George Fitzhugh and Hinton 

Rowan Helper on Slavery, by Louis J. Budd 385 

Hopkins, The Papers of Henry Clay, Volume II, The Rising 

Statesman, 1815-1820, by Richard D. Goff 386 

Dumond, Antislavery: The Crusade for Freedom in America, 

and A Bibliography of Antislavery in America, 

by Fletcher M. Green 387 

Graebner, Politics and the Crisis of 1860, 

by Richard D. Younger 389 

Wooster, The Secession Conventions of the South, 

by Alice B. Keith 391 

Tucker, Chickamauga: Bloody Battle in the West, 

by Robert E. Corlew 392 

Hatch, Edith Boiling Wilson: First Lady Extraordinary, 

by George Osborn 393 

Runge, Four Years in the Confederate Artillery: The Diary 

of Private Henry Robinson Berkeley, 

by Malcolm McMillan 394 

Doherty, Richard Keith Call: Southern Unionist, 

by Charlton W. Tebeau 395 

Patrick, Jefferson Davis and His Cabinet, 

by Robert Cotner 396 

Burgess, Negro Leadership in a Southern City, 

by Leslie W. Syron 398 

La Barre, They Shall Take Up Serpents, 

by Edwin S. Preston 398 

Munn, The Southern Appalachians: A Bibliography and Guide 

to Studies, by Beth G. Crabtree 399 

Rosenberger, Records of the Columbia Historical Society 

of Washington, D. C, 1957-1959, by Mattie Russell 400 



RELIGIOUS TOLERATION AND POLITICS IN 
EARLY NORTH CAROLINA 

By Haskell Monroe* 

Many studies have been made of the efforts of William Penn to use 
the promise of religious freedom as an attraction for settlers coming 
to the New World. Almost no work has been done on the similar at- 
tempt by the Lords Proprietors of Carolina to use the same promise 
to populate their grant of land which extended from Virginia to 
Spanish Florida. In an era marked by religious strife, they advertised 
their lands as a haven for dissenting and unchurched immigrants. 
Throughout the seventeenth century, toleration encouraged people 
of widely divergent beliefs to come to Carolina and share the benefits 
of land, liberty, and commerce. Only when religion became involved 
in provincial politics did toleration cease. 

Freedom in religious matters marked the life of the Carolina col- 
onists through most of the seventeenth century. This came as a result 
of indifference, the economic ambitions of the Lords, and the senti- 
ment of the times. Even the name Carolina is said to have been selected 
in the search for religious toleration. French Huguenots, fleeing Ro- 
man Catholic persecution in the sixteenth century, made an unsuccess- 
ful attempt to found a colony in the area which they named for King 
Charles IX of France. Later, the first English patent for the area 
granted by Charles I in 1629 to Robert Heath mentioned the king's 
"pious desire ... of enlarging the Christian religion of our Empire," 
but commanded the settlement only of those professing the "true re- 
ligion." 1 The grant of Carolina by Charles II in 1663 to eight Lords 
Proprietors also contained religious provisions. The new charter dem- 
onstrated that the Proprietors hoped toleration would aid the colony 
economically, but all "churches and chappels" were to be "dedicated 
according to the ecclesiastical laws of our kingdom of England." But 

* Dr. Monroe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Govern- 
ment, Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, College Station. 

1 Charles I Patent to Sir Robert Heath. William L. Saunders (ed.) The Colonial 
Records of North Carolina (Raleigh: State of North Carolina, 10 volumes, 1886-1895), 
I, 56, hereinafter cited as Saunders, Colonial Records; Edward McCrady, The History 
of South Carolina, 1670-1783 (New York: Macmillan Company, 4 volumes, 1897- 
1902), I, 45-49, hereinafter cited as McGrady, South Carolina. 



268 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the King ordered "indigencies and dispensations" for those who might 
not agree with the Anglicans. 2 A second charter in 1665 repeated most 
of the provisions of the first and promised freedom of conscience to 
all persons. 3 

More important than the charters in determining the colony's policy 
concerning religion were the "Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina" 
drawn up by John Locke in 1669. Although they never went into ef- 
fect, their theories were particularly significant in the southern por- 
tion of Carolina. Of 120 articles in the document, 15 dealt entirely with 
religion. Declaring that only the Church of England could receive 
public support, they did not assure the Dissenter his political rights 
and gave no legal protection to the unchurched. But the Constitutions 
proudly announced that no citizen would be disturbed because of his 
religion or method of worship and allowed any group of seven or 
more persons to form a congregation, provided they stated their terms 
of membership in writing. All Christians were ordered to show their 
faith so that "heathens, Jues, and other disenters from the purity of 
the Christian religion may not be scared." To enforce these provisions, 
Locke planned a Court of Chancery whose jurisdiction would extend 
to "all state matters, liberty of conscience, and all invasions of the 
public peace upon pretence of religion." 4 

The Proprietors hoped to attract their first settlers from Barbadoes, 
where the Church of England had always prevailed. Most Barbadians 
who came to Carolina were Anglicans, but the promise of greater 
toleration also drew Dissenters from the island. To please all sects, 
the Lords promised acceptance of those whose beliefs did not "actually 
disturbe the Civill peace" and forbade any legislation limiting liberty 
of conscience, for they believed "the persons that at present designe 
thither expect liberty of conscience and without that they will not 

2 Heath's patent had been voided by Charles II on August 12, 1663; "State of the 
Case of the Duke of Norfolk's Pretensions to Carolina," Saunders, Colonial Records, 
I, 35-36, 42-43; "First Charter of Carolina," March 24, 1663, Saunders, Colonial Rec- 
ords, I, 20-33. 

3 "Second Charter Granted by King Charles the Second, to the Proprietors of Caro- 
lina, Dated the Thirtieth Day of June, in the Seventeenth Year of His Reign, A. D. 
1665," Saunders, Colonial Records, I, 102-114. 

4 William Warren Sweet, Religion in Colonial America (New York: Charles Scrib- 
ner's Sons, 1942), 39, hereinafter cited as Sweet Religion in Colonial America; First Set 
of the Constitutions for the Government of Carolina, by John Locke, July 21, 1669, The 
Shaftesbury Papers, Volume V of The Collections of the South Carolina Society 
(Charleston: South Carolina Historical Society, 1897), 93-117, hereinafter cited as 
Shaftesbury Papers; Anne King Gregorie and J. N. Frierson (eds.), Records of the 
Court of Chancery of South Carolina, 1671-1779 (Washington: American Historical 
Association, 1950), 4, hereinafter cited as Gregorie and Frierson, Court of Chancery. 



Religious Toleration and Politics 269 

goe." 5 In their early grants in 1663, they emphasized this liberty of 
conscience for all "Free-Holders." But the Lords realized that these 
promises would not be enough for emigrants from New England, from 
where they hoped the major portion of the future Carolinians would 
come. Knowing the need of special treatment for these early Yankees 
who would not submit to the Church of England, they directed their 
appointed governor to "contrive all the good wayes you cann imagen 
to get those people to joyn with you." Soon, Carolina advertisements 
proclaimed liberty of conscience for all persons, "provided they be- 
have themselves." 6 

At first, the Lords paid little heed to the settlements already on their 
lands around Albemarle Sound, just south of Virginia, where a hetero- 
geneous group had begun to farm the fertile Tidewater acres. Appar- 
ently indifferent to religion, most of them had come south from Vir- 
ginia for land or escape. 7 The Lords' first actions were to insure govern- 
ment according to the charter and their instructions to the Governor 
of Albemarle mentioned liberty of conscience as one of the primary 
rights of all. Later instructions indicated the presence of Quakers, for 
provisions allowed those people opposed to swearing oaths of office 
or allegiance to make their statements in writing. Such provisions led 
the advertisers of the Albemarle and Cape Fear areas to list as the 
first of the "privileges" of the inhabitants, "full and free liberty of 
conscience ... to all." 8 

Apparently the first minister to visit the Albemarle area was the 
diligent Quaker missionary, William Edmundson, who came in the 
winter of 1671-1672. Soon after entering Carolina, he met Quakers 

5 John P. Thomas, Jr., "The Barbadians in Early South Carolina," South Carolina 
Historical and Genealogical Magazine, XXXI (1930), 76-88; David Duncan Wallace, 
South Carolina (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1951), 24-25, 
hereinafter cited as Wallace, South Carolina; Barbadoes Concession, January 7, 1664, 
Shaftesbury Papers, 35-37. 

6 Sir John Colleton to Duke of Albemarle, June 10, 1663, Shaftesbury Papers, 6; Wil- 
liam Hilton's Relation, September 8, 1663, A. S. Salley, Jr. (ed.), Narratives of 
Early Carolina, 1650-1708 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911), 59-61, here- 
inafter cited as Salley, Narratives; Lords Proprietors to Sir John Yeamans, January 
11, 1664, Shaftesbury Papers, 51; unnamed advertisement for settlers in Carolina, 
1666, Saunders, Colonial Records, I, 153-155. 

7 William Wilson Manross, A History of the American Episcopal Church (New York: 
Morehouse-Gorham, 1950), 88, hereinafter cited as Manross, American Episcopal 
Church; W. P. Cumming, "The Earliest Permanent Settlement in Carolina," The 
American Historical Review, XLV (1939-1940), 82-89; Stephen B. Weeks, Religious 
Development in the Province of North Carolina (Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns 
Hopkins Press, 1892), 7-38, hereinafter cited as Weeks, Religious Development. 

8 "Instructions for Our Governor of the County of Albemarle in the Province of 
Carolina," 1666, Saunders, Colonial Records, I, 165-175; Lords Proprietors to Governor 
of County of Albemarle, October, 1667, Saunders, Colonial Records, I, 162-164; "Coppy 
of Instruccons Annexed to ye Commission for ye Governor and Councell," July 27, 
1669, Shaftesbury Papers, 119-123; "Instructions to the Governor and Councell of 
Albemarle," 1670, Saunders, Colonial Records, I, 181-182; "A Brief Description of the 
Province of Carolina . . ., 1666," Saunders, Colonial Records, I, 155-157. 



270 The North Carolina Historical Review 

who wept with joy for they had not "seen a Friend for seven years." 
Edmundson preached to a large number but was distressed by the 
lack of religion among his hearers, although they asked him to remain 
and preach regularly. 9 

Not letting unchurched people go untended, the Quakers moved to 
convert the people of Albemarle. George Fox spent eighteen days in 
the area during the autumn of 1672. After his visit, he noted that folk 
of other creeds came to hear him and received him cordially. As for 
the people in general and the chances of successful missionary work 
among them, he believed they were "generally tender and open" and 
found even the Indians receptive to his message. Also, the governor of 
the section heard Fox and treated him "Loveingly" when the leader of 
the Friends held a "glorious and pretious meetinge" without dif- 
ficulty. 10 

The journal of Edmundson's return trip to Albemarle in 1676 infers 
that the Friends were organized. After holding several meetings near 
Albemarle Sound, he wrote that "there was no room for the priests, 
for the Friends were finely settled." As he departed, he felt the success 
of Quaker efforts was secure. 11 In 1680 and 1681, on the advice of 
Fox, these Friends began regular meetings. Although forming only a 
small percentage of the population, the importance of the Quakers 
caused the Proprietors to repeat the provision eliminating the swear- 
ing of oaths on at least two occasions. 12 

These Friends did sometimes suffer because of their faith, for in 
1679, twenty-two from "the people of God in Scorne called Quakers" 
wrote to the Lords protesting the cruel treatment they had received in 
the rebellion two years earlier. Better times came for them when 
John Archdale, who had been converted after hearing Fox preach in 
England, became the temporary Governor of Albemarle in 1685-1686. 
His office gave prestige to the Quaker position, so that two missionaries 

9 Weeks, Religious Development, 22-23; Extract from the Journal of William Ed- 
mundson, 1671-1672, Saunders, Colonial Records, I, 215-216. 

10 Extract from the Journal of George Fox, September and October, 1672, Saunders, 
Colonial Records, I, 216-218; Norman Penney (ed.), The Journal of George Fox 
(Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1892), II, 233-239; Weeks 
Religious Development, 24-27. 

11 "Extracts from the Journal of William Edmundson's Second Visit to Carolina," 
1676, Saunders, Colonial Records, I, 226-227. 

32 Allen C. Thomas and Richard H. Thomas, History of the Society of Friends in 
America (New York: Revell, 1894), 225-226, hereinafter cited as Thomas and Thomas, 
Society of Friends; Stephen B. Weeks, Southern Quakers and Slavery: A Study in 
Institutional History (Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1896), 42, 
46-47, hereinafter cited as Weeks, Southern Quakers; "Instructions to John Hearvey, 
Esq., Precident and Councell of the County of Albemarle in the Province of Caro- 
lina," February 5, 1678, Saunders, Colonial Records, I, 235-239; "Instructions to Cap- 
tain Henry Wilkinson, Governor . . .," 1681, Saunders, Colonial Records, 334-338; 
Weeks, Religious Development, 272. 



Religious Toleration and Politics 271 

in 1686 received official aid. 13 Although a later missionary found only a 
"very rude senseless people/' most of the preachers who visited the 
section in the last decade of the century found the Quakers organized 
and increasing in number. No other group in northern Carolina fared 
so well as the Quakers, and there was little genuine religious interest 
outside of the meetings of the Friends, although one of the charges 
against the rebel Thomas Miller in 1679 was that he "didst utter and 
declare ... in speaking of the Sacram't of the Lds Supper . . . whats a 
litle hogs wash putt in a piggs trough." 14 

The Anglicans were slow in demonstrating any zeal in the lands 
along the Albemarle. They made no attempt to secure the tax support 
which the charter allowed them and in 1703, the Bishop of London 
learned that the section had been twenty-one years "without priest 
or altar." In 1699, Henderson Walker, a loyal churchman and respon- 
sible leader, became Governor of Albemarle and led an Anglican 
group which called for missionaries. Despite the first missionary's 
being called "ye Monster of ye age," and the absence of any Anglican 
congregations in all of northern Carolina, this call for ministers led to 
the establishment of the Church of England in the Albemarle area in 
1701. 15 Thus, the area that became North Carolina had a peculiar 
tolerance for a few years, stemming largely from the absence of 
enough zeal or denominational fervor to produce intolerance. 

When the Proprietors guided the first permanent settlers to southern 
Carolina in 1670, they carefully repeated their promise of religious 
liberty. These people lived on the south bank of the Ashley River for 
ten years, and then moved to the narrow peninsula separating the 

w Letter to Proprietors, July 13, 1679, Saunders, Colonial Records, I, 250-253; Weeks, 
Southern Quakers, 48, 55-56. 

"Quoted in Weeks, Southern Quakers, 63-69; testimony on November 6, 1679, Saun- 
ders, Colonial Records, I, 317. Two sets of instructions to governors of Albemarle con- 
tained no mention of religion: "Instructions for Coll. Philip Ludwell Governor of 
Carolina, 8 November, 1691," Saunders, Colonial Records, I, 373-380, and "Instruc- 
tions Given . . . Unto the Governor and Councill of That Parte of Our Province Called 
Albemarle," 1676, Saunders, Colonial Records, I, 230-232. 

35 Letter to the Bishop of London, printed in Manross, American Episcopal Church, 
88; Weeks, Religious Development, 34-35; Henderson Walker, quoted in Hugh T. 
Lefler and Albert Ray Newsome, North Carolina: The History of a Southern State 
(Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1954), 53-54. A portion of 
Reverend John Blair's Mission to North Carolina, 1704, describes the picture of religion 
in northern Carolina as seen by an Anglican: "The country may be divided in four 
sorts of people: first, the Quakers, who are the most powerful enemies to Church 
government, but a people very ignorant of what they profess. The second sort are a 
great many who have no religion, but would be Quakers, if they were not obliged 
to lead a more moral life than they are willing to comply to. A third sort are something 
like Presbyterians, which sort is upheld by some idle fellows who have left their 
lawful employment, and preach and baptize through the country; without any manner 
of orders from any sect or pretended Church. A fourth sort, who are fully zealous for 
the interest of the Church, are the fewest in number, but the better sort of people." 
According to Blair, the first three groups agreed in their opposition to an established 
church. Salley, Narratives, 216. 



North Carolina State Library. 



272 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Cooper and Ashley rivers. There, they founded Charles Town, the 
center of all activity in the colony for more than a century. Unlike 
most of the colonists in America, these immigrants had spent a genera- 
tion in Barbadoes. The great work of the colony's first years was to 
attract additional settlers. Here the headright system and religious 
toleration aided each other, for both would attract the ambitious and 
hardy. While the Proprietors encouraged Dissenting colonists, they 
never were willing to remove the guarantee of protection of the 
Church of England from the charter and grant real religious equality. 16 

The southern Carolinians demonstrated mixed reactions to religion 
from the beginning of the settlement. While the Grand Council of 
the colony in its first official act called for a more strict observance of 
the Sabbath, a number of settlers were writing the Proprietors about 
their need of a minister. These requests asked for "some able godly 
minister to come to us"; "a minister qualified according to the Church 
of England and an able Councellor to end controversies amongst us"; 
"an able minister by whose meanes corrupted youth might be very 
much reclaimed, and people instructed in the true religion, and that 
the Sabboth and service of Almighty God be not neglected." The 
Proprietors tried to contact the minister the colonists preferred, but 
they informed Governor William Sayle that they would not allow 
anyone to force religious views upon any of the colonists. 17 

With a charter that granted religious freedom to all but "Papists," 
the Ashley settlers assigned four acres of land near the river for the 
"Church yard." No records remain of a church being built on this 
site, nor in the area apportioned along Stono Creek in 1671 where 
space for a church was also reserved. 18 Still, some men wanted a gov- 
ernor "of a moderate zeale . . . especially turneing his face to the 
liturgie of the Church of England." Regardless of this desire, the new 

18 McCrady, South Carolina, 8-12 ; Herbert L. Osgood, The American Colonies in the 
Seventeenth Century (New York: Macmillan, 3 volumes, 1904), II, 323; Weeks, 
Religious Development, 17. 

17 McCrady, South Carolina, 132-133; Gov. Sayle to Lord Ashley, June 25, 1670, 
Shaftesbury Papers, 268; "F. O'Sullivan to IA Ashley, 10th Sept r 1670." Saunders, 
Colonial Records, I, 207; Council to Proprietors, September 9, 1670, Shaftesbury 
Papers, 180; Locke's "Carolina Memoranda, 1670/71," Shaftesbury Papers, 245, here- 
inafter cited as Locke's "Carolina Memoranda"; Gov. Sayle to Proprietors, June 25 and 
September 9, 1670, printed in McCrady, South Carolina, 131-132; Lord Ashley to 
Gov. Sayle, April 10, 1671, Shaftesbury Papers, 312. 

18 "The Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina, Drawn up By John Locke, March 1, 
1669," Saunders, Colonial Records, I, 187-205; map showing assignment of land, op- 
posite page 1, Shaftesbury Papers; September 7, 1671, A. S. Salley, Jr. (ed.), Journal 
of the Grand Council of South Carolina (Columbia: South Carolina Historical Com- 
mission, 1907), 6, hereinafter cited as Journal of Grand Council. 



Religious Toleration and Politics 273 

governor, Joseph West, was most concerned with the type of religious 
provisions necessary to attract New Englanders. 19 

By the beginning of the second decade of settlement in southern 
Carolina, the population of the colony numbered about 1,200 whites. 
This figure doubled by 1682 because of the arrival of Dissenters fleeing 
persecution in England. The planners of the new town reserved a lot 
for a church. On the space assigned, the site of the present St. 
Michael's, the churchmen built the first St. Philip's, described by con- 
temporaries as "large and stately." 20 

Many Huguenots came to Charles Town in the 1680's through the 
encouragement of Charles II and James II. The Proprietors offered 
large sections of low country lands to these Calvinists and between 
1685 and 1687, French, Swiss, and Belgian Protestants received grants 
totaling more than 38,000 acres. In 1687, the year of the largest migra- 
tion to the Charles Town area, more than 400 Huguenots landed in 
Carolina. These new subjects of the King of England received their 
land on the same basis as the English immigrants, but the English 
looked on these French-speaking newcomers as foreigners. 21 The 
frugal and industrious Calvinists quickly learned the language and 
proved their worth by the manner in which they transformed marshes 
into productive plantations and themselves into loyal citizens. 

The last decade of the seventeenth century marked the rise of 
religious factionalism in the area around Charles Town. In 1692, the 
Grand Council agreed that for the time being, the "Lawes of Eng- 
land" would rule the colony, and thereby adopted the chancery law 
of England. With repeated mention of bills for "ye Better observation 
of the Lord's Day," the acts of the colonial legislature neglected the 
varied representation of Dissenters, Anglicans, and later, Huguenots. 22 

19 William Owen to Robert Blayney, March 22, 1670/71, Shaftesbury Papers, 304; 
Joseph West to Lord Ashley, July, 1671, Shaftesbury Papers, 349; Henry A. M. 
Smith, "Joseph Smith, Landgrave and Governor," South Carolina Magazine, XIX 
(1918), 189-193. 

^Edson L. Whitney, Government of the Colony of South Carolina (Baltimore, Mary- 
land: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1895), 115; McCrady, South Carolina, 194, 315, 334; 
Thomas Ashe; "Carolina, or a Description of the Present State of the Country," 1682, 
Salley, Narratives, 158. The assignment of lots is in Henry A. M. Smith, "Charleston — 
The Original Plan and the Earliest Settlers," South Carolina Magazine, IX (1908), 
12-28. 

21 Charles Weiss, History of the French Protestant Refugees from the Revocation 
of the Edict of Nantes to the Present Time (New York and Edinburgh: Stringer and 
Townsend, 1854), 293-299; "Printed Warrants, 1680-92" in Henry A. M. Smith, 
"Goose Creek," South Carolina Magazine, XXIX (1928), 88, hereinafter cited as 
Smith, "Goose Creek"; A. S. Salley, Jr., "The House at Medway," South Carolina 
Magazine, XXXIII (1932), 245; grants listed in McCrady, South Carolina, 321-322. 

22 Journal of Grand Council, June 21, 1692, 44; A. S. Salley, Jr. (ed.), Journal of 
the Commons House of Assembly, September 23, 1692, 8 ff.; November 22, 1695, 4, 
hereinafter cited as Journal of Assembly. Letters of four Proprietors to Governor, 
April 11, 1693, in Journal of Assembly, 30; Journal of Grand Council, June 21, 1692, 
in Gregorie and Frierson, Court of Chancery, 66. 



274 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The status of the Huguenots in Carolina was shown in the acts of the 
Grand Council and Assembly. In 1692 the Assembly ordered them to 
begin their services at inconvenient hours. Five years later, the situa- 
tion had changed so much that both houses of the legislature agreed 
upon a general act of naturalization for all aliens taking the oath of 
allegiance, an act which guaranteed lands and liberty of conscience to 
all except Roman Catholics. 23 

While the dissenting group gained in political prestige, the Anglicans 
also strengthened their position. In 1696 the Assembly decided to buy 
land to be added to the churchyard at St. Philip's with funds "out of 
publick money" and two years later, it decided to pay the minister. 
Also in 1698, both Assembly and Council joined in thanking the Bishop 
of London for his assistance in sending an Anglican minister and 
beginning a public library in Carolina. 24 

Thus, by the beginning of the eighteenth century, the settlers who 
looked to Charles Town for their political and social leadership, and 
for their religious direction as well, found an uncertain attitude. 
Although toleration was promised to all, the Anglican position was 
threatening. The Dissenters had hoped Huguenots would aid them 
in opposing the Anglicans, but had seen these hopes fade. And yet, 
each of the governors between 1693 and 1700 had been a non-Anglican. 
Nonetheless, this period saw a continued move toward the climax 
which came in 1704 when Anglican votes achieved the official estab- 
lishment of their church in southern Carolina. Before this event, how- 
ever, ever-increasing numbers of religious groups came to the flat 
lands between the Edisto and the Santee. Not only Anglicans and 
Huguenots, but all sorts of Dissenters ( Presbyterians, Congregational- 
ists, and Independents), Quakers, a few Jews, a Roman Catholic or 
two, and even some Baptists. The events relating to each of these 
groups yield much information about toleration in seventeenth-century 
Carolina. 

The laws of the colony always favored the Anglicans. The settlers 
accepted this pre-eminence without question when they reserved land 
for a church in the first settlement on the Ashley. Apparently the first 
Anglican minister came to the area about the time of the origin of the 
Charles Town settlement, but the people never accepted him, perhaps 
because they considered him to be "too great a lover of Strong Liquor, 

23 Journal of Grand Council, June 21, 1692, 44; Journal of Assembly, February 25, 
1697, 7; a "Bill for Unition of all protestants and making aliens ffree . . ." passed on 
March 3, 1696/97, Journal of Assembly, 11 ff. 

24 December 5, 1696, September 20, 1698, October 8, 1698, Journal of Assembly, 17, 14, 
27-28. 



Religious Toleration and Politics 275 

etc." 25 This lack of acceptance, plus the general absence of zeal among 
many of the first Anglicans, allowed other groups to vie for converts 
among new immigrants. Still, the Anglican St. Philip's became the 
church home of the social leaders of the area. This black cypress 
building was probably the finest structure in all of Carolina and most 
Anglican families came to its services from their homes which clustered 
along the banks of the Cooper and Ashley. No events had more social 
significance than these services. As new settlers came to town, the 
natural tendency was to go to the church of the colony's leaders. New 
immigrants, especially the Huguenots, who soon intermarried with 
the older Barbadian families in Carolina, joined the Anglicans in the 
colonial legislature. The alliance produced a series of bills which began 
the move toward Establishment. Not only did the Commons House 
agree in 1696 to purchase a lot for the use of St. Philip's Church, but 
it provided for the "Sufficient mainetaineance" of the minister. But 
these Carolinians held a broad view of the work of the Church of 
England. The library which the Reverend Thomas Bray organized in 
Charles Town was for the use of all citizens. 26 

In contrast to the custom in England, Huguenots not only joined the 
Anglican Church in Carolina, but were welcomed by that group. 
These energetic folk came in significant numbers between 1680 and 
1690 at the urging of the Proprietors, who hoped they would develop 
a highly profitable production in silk, olives, and wine. After brief, 
unsuccessful attempts at these ventures, the Huguenots turned their 
remarkable talents to agriculture and the trades. In both areas they 
made impressive contributions as they settled in Charles Town, around 
Goose Creek above the town, in the "Orange Quarter" on the eastern 
branch of the Cooper, and in the locality called Jamestown on the 
Santee. 27 

No other Carolina immigrants had been more attracted by the 
promise of toleration than the Huguenots. The Dissenters expected the 
Huguenots to join them in a show of strength, but their attempt to 

25 A. S. Salley, Jr. (ed.), "Letter from Thomas Smith to Mr. Robert Stephens, Jan- 
uary 16, 1708," South Carolina Magazine, XXXII (1931), 61-62; Manross, American 
Episcopal Church, 80; McCrady, South Carolina, 183-184. 

^Wallace, South Carolina, 58; December 5, 1696, September 20, 1698, October 8, 
1698, Journal of Assembly, 17, 14, ff., 28; Charles C. Tiffany, A History of the Protes- 
tant Episcopal Church in the United States of America (New York: Charles Scribner's 
Sons, for the Christian Literature Company, 1895), 225; McCrady, South Carolina, 
353. This was probably the first truly public library in the English colonies. 

27 Charles M. Andrews, The Colonial Period of American History (New Haven, Con- 
necticut: Yale University Press, 4 volumes, 1934-1938), III, 241, hereinafter cited as 
Andrews, Colonial Period; McCrady, South Carolina, 319-324; Wallace, South Carolina, 
61-62; account of settlement of the Goose Creek area in Smith, "Goose Creek," 1-25, 
71-96, 265-279. 



276 The North Carolina Historical Review 

withhold the franchise from aliens prevented the union. Two French 
ministers were in the colony as early as 1687 and within three years 
the group had built a church. Huguenot numbers and financial suc- 
cesses, plus the natural English dislike of all things French, led briefly 
to troublous times. An indication of this antipathy was the bill specify- 
ing the hour of the French worship services. Englishmen questioned 
whether Frenchmen who could hardly speak the language of their 
new home had the right to participate in the colonial legislature. 28 
Finally, a bill declared the marriages conducted by Huguenot minis- 
ters were "not Lawfull because they are not ordained by some bishopp 
and their children that are begotten in Such Marriages are bastards." 
On hearing of this in 1693, the Proprietors wrote the governor and 
council that they wanted the Huguenots given better treatment. As 
a final word, the Lords reminded their administrators that it was "for 
their majesties Service to have as many of them as we can in Carolina." 
Before the Naturalization Act of 1697 gave them the rights they 
sought, the Huguenots attempted to prove that many of their num- 
bers had been naturalized in England. 29 The Naturalization Act paved 
the way for complete assimilation of the Huguenots, some of whom 
had earlier served in the Commons House. Eventually, all the French 
congregations except the one in Charles Town, accepted Anglican 
doctrine, saving the frugal Huguenots from supporting two clergies 
and aiding them in business and social relations in the colony. 

With their legal position established, the Huguenots exercised an 
influence far out of proportion to their numbers. They registered stock 
marks for their animals, left legacies to their church, and lived as 
"decently and happily as any planter in these southward parts of 
America." By the turn of the century, they numbered only slightly 
less than five hundred and although a few ambitious Huguenots were 
discouraged because they still could not own vessels, their religious 
alliance with the Anglicans and their hard work led one observer to 
conclude that this important ten per cent of the population "by their 

^Wallace, South Carolina, 61-65; Journal of Grand Council, 44; Bartholomew R. 
Carroll, Historical Collections of South Carolina (New York: Harper and Brothers, 
5 volumes, 1836), II, 101-102; McCrady, South Carolina, 238-239; Andrews, Colonial 
Period, III, 242. 

29 Letter from four Proprietors to Governor and Deputies, April 11, 1693, Journal 
of Assembly, 29-32; "Liste des Francois et Suisses," City Gazette and Commercial 
Daily Advertiser (Charleston, South Carolina), May 5, 1826, lists Huguenots between 
May 17, 1694, and September 27, 1695; a list of the first naturalized Huguenots is in 
McCrady, South Carolina, 323-324; Arthur Hirsh, The Huguenots of Colonial South 
Carolina (Durham: Duke University Press, 1928), chapters III and IV; letter of Ed- 
ward Randolph, March 16, 1698, Salley, Narratives, 208-209. 



Religious Toleration and Politics 277 



30 



endeavors and mutual assistance . . . have outstript our English. 

Members of the Society of Friends received a welcome in southern 
Carolina from the beginning of the Ashley settlement. One of the 
Colony's founders, Sir John Yeamans, had long been friendly to the 
group. In 1670 the Proprietors learned of a Captain James Gilbert, a 
Quaker who had a "great inclination to our Country," and with 
"any incouragement ... he can gett abundance of his sect or friends 
to settle." 31 But Friends were not completely trusted, for a recom- 
mendation of a new governor described the candidate as "an honest 
man tho' a Quaker." A number of the group came to southern Caro- 
lina before the building of Charles Town, where they later concen- 
trated. Lord Shaftesbury, one of the Proprietors, asked the Carolina 
leaders to assist Friends whenever possible for he believed tolerance 
would bring more Quakers to Carolina. Among those who did come 
to the Ashley to escape the persecutions in England was Mary Fisher, 
a widely-traveled and outspoken leader of the Friends. 32 

Almost as soon as the colony moved its center to Charles Town, the 
Quakers began their meetings there. In 1681 Fox wrote to Friends 
in the town suggesting that they hold Yearly or Half -Yearly Meetings 
with brethren from the northern section of Carolina. The next year, 
this group received a large bequest in a will. Regular Quaker meetings 
began in Charles Town about 1683, but they did not obtain the lot for 
their meetinghouse on King Street until about 1696 and completed 
their building by the end of the century. 33 

The greatest period of Quaker influence came from 1694 to 1696, 

30 Isaac Mazeque (Mazyck), a Walloon from Liege, registered a stock mark on May 
16, 1698. A. S. Salley, Jr., "Stock Marks in South Carolina, 1695-1721," South Carolina 
Magazine, XIII (1912), 227; will of Antoinne Prudhomme in Transactions of the 
Huguenot Society of South Carolina, XI (1904), 17-30; actions of the Assembly in 
1698 indicate a general concern over the Huguenots, Journal of Assembly, 20-25; letter 
of Edward Randolph, February, 1698/99, Salley, Narratives, 208-209. Randolph lists 
the numbers of French in Carolina: 195 at the French Church in Charles Town, 31 
at the Goose Creek Church, 101 on the east branch of the Cooper River, and 111 in the 
French Church on the Santee River. John Lawson's observation on the French in 
Henry A. M. Smith, "Jamestown," South Carolina Magazine, IX (1908), 220-221, 
hereinafter cited as Smith "Jamestown." 

31 M. Alston Read, "Notes on Some Colonial Governors of South Carolina and Their 
Families," South Carolina Magazine, XI (1910), 108; Henry Brayne to Lords Proprie- 
tors, November 20, 1670, Shaftesbury Papers, 237-238. 

32 Locke's "Carolina Memoranda," August 20, 1671, 348; Lord Shaftesbury to Andrew 
Percivall, June 9, 1675, and "Lord Shaftesbury to the Governor and Councell in Caro- 
lina," June 9, 1675, Shaftesbury Papers, 464-465. Shaftesbury suggested giving the 
Quakers up to 12,000 acres in "such convenient place as you and they shall pitch on." 
Mabel L. Weber, "The Records of Quakers in Charles Town," South Carolina Magazine, 
XXVIII (1927), 22, hereinafter cited as Weber, "Records of Quakers"; James Bowden, 
History of the Society of Friends in America (London, England: G. Gilpin, 2 volumes, 
1850-1854), I, 39-41, hereinafter cited as Bowden, Friends in America. 

33 Sweet, Religion in Colonial America, 156; Weber, "Records of Quakers," 22-23; 
Andrews, Colonial Period, III, 241. 



278 The North Carolina Historical Review 

during the administration of John Archdale, a convert of Fox, who had 
bought the proprietary share of the deceased Lord Berkeley and was 
a powerful figure in Charles Town until his departure in 1697. Not 
only did Friends hold influential positions in the colonial government 
during his tenure, but he went with a Quaker missionary to hold serv- 
ices in the back country. He demonstrated his toleration when he 
dispatched a ship to bring fifty-two shipwrecked New England Congre- 
gationalists from Cape Fear to Charles Town. 34 By the turn of the 
century, the Quakers had achieved almost full equality. Like the 
Huguenots, they usually sided with the Anglicans, but these quiet 
people held office without swearing oaths, went before the Grand 
Council and won judicial decisions there. Mention of a "public meet- 
ing of the Christian people commonly called Quakers at Charles 
Town" in 1697 demonstrated that these energetic though sober people 
were allowed to concentrate their efforts and habitations in the town 
without difficulty. 35 

Among the first settlers on the Ashley were Dissenters who later be- 
came Congregationalists and Presbyterians. During the ten years of the 
Ashley settlement, they showed no real religious interest, but they 
built a church soon after moving to Charles Town. The exact date of 
the construction is not known, but it was probably after 1683, the year 
a Presbyterian minister visited the city, but received "little encourage- 
ment." Another Dissenter preacher is said to have visited briefly in 
1684 or 1685. 36 The building which housed a congregation originally 
made up of most non-Anglicans in the area was variously called the 
Presbyterian Church, the Congregational Church, Independent 
Church, the New England Meeting House, and the White Meeting 
House. 

In Carolina, Dissenters tended to congregate in Charles Town, on 
the Edisto, and in the outlying counties of Colleton and Craven. The 
period of their greatest strength began with the arrival in 1691 of the 
Reverend Benjamin Pierpont, the first minister who remained with 
the congregation of the Independent Church for any length of time. 
His able leadership continued until his death in Charles Town in 

34 Weeks, Southern Quakers, 50-60; Bowden, Friends in America, I, 415; Andrews, 
Colonial Period, III, 234-235; McCrady, South Carolina, 286. 

35 Bowden, Friends in America, I, 44; Thomas and Thomas, Society of Friends, 
226-227; Gregorie and Frierson, Court of Chancery, 64; Weber, "Records of Quakers," 
22-23. 

36 The memorandum of John Typar, "clerk of the Congregational Church," February 
8, 1737, stated that the church was built at the "beginning of the settlement" at Charles 
Town, George N. Edwards, A History of the Independent or Congregational Church 
of Charleston, South Carolina (Boston, Massachusetts: Pilgrim Press, 1947), 4-7, 
hereinafter cited as Edwards, Congregational Church; McCrady, South Carolina, 334- 
335; Wallace, South Carolina, 59. 



Religious Toleration and Politics 279 

1697. During these last years of the seventeenth century, non- Anglicans 
sat in the governor's chair in Charles Town, and, for a brief time, 
it seemed that real religious equality might result. Then the Dissenters 
attempted to push their advantage too far in the laws to exclude aliens 
from the franchise. 37 This move led to the alliance of the Huguenots 
with the Anglicans and the formation of rival factions, both in religion 
and business. 

The Reverend Hugh Adams succeeded Pierpont at the Independent 
Church. He soon became involved in a series of disputes which con- 
tinued until his departure in less than a year. Upon leaving the town, 
he preached in two meetinghouses on the Wando River. There he 
met the Reverend William Screven, the first Baptist preacher in the 
colony. Adams was troubled by Screven, whom he labeled "a mighty 
preacher of the Anabaptist error," and immediately challenged him to 
a theological duel, with unknown results. The Reverend John Cotton, 
a former missionary to the Indians, followed Adams in Charles Town. 
He made a marked impression with his first sermon in December, 

1698. According to a contemporary opinion, "He was abundantly 
respected by the good and even the Governor himself." Cotton wrote 
that the Church contained about 150 members with new accessions 
weekly. As for his accomplishments in the town, he said, "Landgrave 
Morton ... of all the Council is my most ingenuous friend and comes 
to heare me each Sabbath," and Cotton proudly considered the possi- 
bility of baptizing a Jew who had come to him "lively in his good 
notions." 38 

Cotton died in the yellow fever epidemic in 1699. Three months 
later, the ships carrying the survivors of the tragic Scottish colony at 
Darien stopped in Charles Town's fine harbor. Upon hearing that the 
Reverend Archibald Stobo, a Presbyterian minister, was among the 
passengers, a delegation rowed out to the ships and requested the 
minister to come ashore and preach at the Independent Church. He 
consented to do so and after he left the ships, a violent hurricane 
swept the small fleet out to sea, apparently causing the death of all 
aboard. Convinced of the providential nature of his survival, Stobo 
accepted the pastorate of the Dissenters in the town and though the 
congregation sometimes complained about his narrow Scottish ideas, 
the church continued to prosper as the century ended. 39 This congre- 



87 (C 



'Journal of Elder Pratt," Salley, Narratives, 199; Edwards, Congregational 
Church, 8-9; McCrady, South Carolina, 329-335. 

38 Fragment of letter dated 1699 in Massachusetts Historical Society and reprinted 
in Edwards, Congregational Church, 10-11. 

^McCrady, South Carolina, 311; Wallace, South Carolina, 57; Edwards, Congrega- 
tional Church, 15. 



280 The North Carolina Historical Review 

gation, claimed as one of the first Presbyterian churches in the Ameri- 
can colonies, included the opponents of any possible attempt to estab- 
lish the Anglican Church formally. The first movement toward estab- 
lishment came late in 1700 when the Dissenter candidate for gover- 
nor lost a heated and disputed election to the favorite of the Anglicans 
and their allies. 40 

The Dissenters in Charles Town had failed to assist one group of 
immigrants who might have joined their party. These were the Scotch 
Presbyterians sent by Lord Cardross in 1684 to the Port Royal area. 
Some pamphlets which promised religious toleration had attracted 
these people and more than 100 ambitious Scots sailed to Charles 
Town. This was the group which the Reverend William Dunlop ac- 
companied, and when they arrived in Carolina, he found that some of 
the local leaders tried to discourage the Scots. Most of the group 
went on to their small settlement called Stuart's Town, which the 
Spanish destroyed in a year. Dunlop escaped and came to Charles 
Town where he was an active preacher until 1689 and the proprietor 
of a mercantile business at the same time. He even performed the mar- 
riage ceremony of Sabrina de Vignon, a Huguenot, and Landgrave 
Thomas Smith, a leader among the Dissenters. 41 

Ten years after the burning of Stuart's Town, another religious 
colony came to Carolina. This group was a part of the Congregational 
Church from Dorchester, Massachusetts, led by the Reverend Joseph 
Lord who came to Carolina "to settell the gospell ther." The townsmen 
fired salutes and rowed out to welcome the New Englanders. One of 
the newcomers wrote: "Thay war not only very kind to us, but allso 
used all menes and touk great pains to obtain our setteling upon ash- 
ley rever." Though these strangers received a hospitable welcome, 
they "herd of sum of thos that came from Newingland that had ben 
giltey of gros miscarages which was a trobel to us." But to their great 
satisfaction, they learned that the Carolinians understood that all 
men from Massachusetts were not alike. After only a short search for 
a favorable location for their church, these immigrants settled on some 
high ground along the Ashley, about twenty miles from Charles Town. 
Here they built what came to be called the Old White Meeting House 

40 Sweet, Religion in Colonial America, 259; Salley, Narratives, 267-268; Wallace, 
South Carolina, 67. 

41 G. P. Insh, Scottish Colonial Schemes (Glasgow, Scotland: Maclehose, Jackson, and 
Co., 1923), 193; Verner W. Crane, The Southern Frontier, 1670-1732 (Durham: Duke 
University Press, 1928), 26-31, hereinafter cited as Crane, Southern Frontier; Lord 
Cardross and William Dunlop to Sir Peter Colleton, March 27, 1685, in G. P. Insh, 
"Letters Concerning the Arrival of the Cardross Settlers," South Carolina Magazine, 
XXX (1929), 72; Edwards, Congregational Church, 7-8; "Paul GrimbalPs Losses by 
the Spanish Invasion of 1686," South Carolina Magazine, XXIX (1928), 231. 



Keligious Toleration and Politics 281 

and when the Reverend Lord "precht . . . many . . . neigbers . . . gave 
diligent atension." 42 In their new Dorchester, these Congregationalists 
worshiped without hindrance and remained almost compietely aloof 
from the politics of Charles Town. 

Of all the religious groups in Carolina before 1700, least is known 
about the Baptists. There were apparently some members of this 
group among the earliest settlers, but there is no certainty about their 
first meetings. They may have begun regular meetings as early as 
1683, but there is reliable information only that their first services 
took place in the home of William Chapman on King Street. The most 
reliable date for the organization of the Charles Town Baptists seems 
to be 1696 or 1697. With a few members highly placed in the town s 
society, the Baptists received a lot for their church in 1699. Here on 
the site of the present First Baptist Church of Charleston, they built 
their meetinghouse. 43 At about the same time, a group of Baptists 
from Maine settled in an area called Somerton, adjacent to the Biggin 
Swamp above Charles Town. The placing of this group was largely 
the result of the efforts of the Reverend William Screven, a former 
victim of Puritan intolerance in New England. Vigorously active at 
Somerton, he preached to all who would listen, perhaps attracting a 
few refugees from the ill-fated Port Royal settlement, and incurring 
the wrath of the Presbyterian minister in the area, Hugh Adams. 44 
The Baptists apparently avoided politics during the seventeenth cen- 
tury and strengthened their congregations. At the end of the century, 
they adopted the Confession of Faith, later called the Philadelphia 
Confession, and prepared to enlist more members. 45 

A few Roman Catholics and Jews came to Charles Town. The former 
were treated as untouchables, while the latter were welcomed. In 
1674 four Catholic refugees from the Ashley settlement drifted into 
St. Augustine. Under the questioning of the Spanish governor, one 
of the Catholic men said he had left Carolina "because of the suffering 

42 "Records of the First Church of Dorchester, New England," October 22, 1695, 
Salley, Narratives, 191-193; "Journal of Elder Pratt," Salley, Narratives, 194-200; 
McCrady, South Carolina, 327, 707; Konstance F. Woolson, "Up the Ashley and 
Cooper," Harper's New Monthly Magazine, LII (December, 1875), 11. 

43 A. H. Newman, A History of the Baptist Churches in the United States (New York: 
American Baptist Publication Society, 1898), 224, hereinafter cited as Newman, 
Baptist Churches; Sweet, Religion in Colonial America, 141; Edwards, Congregational 
Church, 1; McCrady, South Carolina, 337. 

** Contrary to some versions, records of the Maine Historical Society printed in Smith, 
"Jamestown," 230-231, show that Screven did not come to South Carolina until at least 
1695, or possibly later. Somerton was hardly a town, but a plantation settled by 
members of Screven's congregation, Henry A. M. Smith, "Some Forgotten Towns in 
Lower South Carolina," South Carolina Magazine, XIV (1913), 134-136; Edwards, 
Congregational Church, 8-11. 

45 Newman, Baptist Chtirches, 225. 



282 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and want they had to endure," and the other stated he was "compelled 
to do so by the toil and suffering." Later, in 1695, when Governor 
Archdale found some Catholic Indians near Charles Town, he quickly 
sent them to St. Augustine to rid the area of all Romanism. 46 

The swift and relatively smooth acceptance of the Huguenots into 
Carolina society greatly eased the position of the Jews. The first per- 
son of Hebrew faith mentioned in existing documents was an inter- 
preter used by the tolerant Archdale in 1695. 47 Though mentioned in 
early versions, Jews were not mentioned in the final draft of the 
Fundamental Constitutions. Perhaps this omission helped them to 
secure their rights along with other aliens after the passage of the 
Naturalization Act. But this act did withhold freedom of worship 
from non-Christians. Apparently this restriction did not bother the 
Jews in Charles Town, for the last four names on the list of those who 
applied for naturalization in 1697 were probably Jewish. They were 
all identified as "merchant," and the three names which are decipher- 
able are Simon Vallentine, Jacob Mendis, and Avila. 48 The document 
which Vallentine received granted to him "all the rights Priviledges 
and Immunityes Given . . . any Alien Inhabitant of South Carolina. ' 49 
The Act of Naturalization marked a real milestone, for it allowed Jews 
to hold land and to vote, the first grant of these privileges to Jewish 
people in the New World. Vallentine was the most active of all the 
Jewish settlers in Charles Town and often served the Court of Or- 
dinary, which commended his work as administrator of an estate for 
the Court in 1696. 50 

In 1700, the southern portion of Carolina contained about 5,500 
white people, about 3,000 of whom lived in and about Charles Town— 
the social, political, and religious center of the colony. 51 There was 

40 Letter of Acting Governor Don Nicholas Ponce de Leon to Queen of Spain, May 8, 
1674, Jose M. Gallardo, "Letters Relating to the Spaniards and the English Settlement 
in Charles Town," South Carolina Magazine, XXXVII (1936), 94-98; Archdale's 
Description of Carolina, 1707, Salley, Narratives, 300. 

47 Charles Reznikoff, The Jews of Charleston (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Jewish 
Publication Society of America, 1950), 3-4, hereinafter cited as Reznikoff, Jews of 
Charleston; Abram V. Goodman, American Overture: Jewish Rights in Colonial Times 
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1947), 153, here- 
inafter cited as Goodman, American Overture. 

48 Reznikoff, Jews of Charleston, 4, 6; Avila was also mentioned as Avilah, and 
Vallentine listed sometimes as Valentine or Valentijn. 

"Document printed in Goodman, American Overture, 157. 

80 Case Papers, 1700-1720, Gregorie and Frierson, Court of Chancery, 75 ; Reznikoff, 
Jews of Charleston, 6; Barnett A. Elzas, The Jews of South Carolina from the Earliest 
Times to the Present Day (Charleston, South Carolina: Privately printed, 1905), 20-21; 
"Abstracts from the Records of the Court of Ordinary of the Province of South Caro- 
lina," South Carolina Magazine, X (1909), lists Vallentine as serving the court on 
November 24, 1696, 139; February 2, 1696/97, 89; July 14, 1698, 90; and October 16, 
1699, 138. 

a McCrady, South Carolina, 315. 



Religious Toleration and Politics 283 

one government for province, town, and church, a government which 
handled affairs as varied as Indian relations, defense, church member- 
ship, and street paving. Charles Town was taking on some of the 
airs of a cosmopolitan center. Its walls enclosed people of many 
nations in the small area between Meeting Street and the eastern 
side of the Peninsula. Here were the "English, French, Independent 
and Anabaptist" churches, while the "Quaker Meeting House" stood 
a short distance west of the wall. 52 By this time St. Philip's could even 
list a church bell as further proof of the town's civility. 

While the city and the entire colony were progressing rapidly, there 
was still much to attest the need for further effort. Charles Town's 
Indian trade stretched to the Gulf and the Mississippi, but there 
were no substantial buildings inside the town walls except the 
churches. In addition, many slaveowners withheld religion from their 
Negroes because they felt that only heathens should be kept in bond- 
age and prevented from voting. 53 These same owners, and their fellow 
Carolinians as well, felt strongly about their religion and their politics. 
Both issues came to a head on September 7, 1700. On that day, the 
council selected a moderate Dissenter, Joseph Morton, as the new 
governor of the colony. Four days later, after some behind-the-scenes 
pressure, the Council reversed its position and chose James Moore, 
the favorite of the opposing group made up of Anglicans, Quakers, and 
Huguenots. This factionalism coincided with the attacks on Dissenters 
in England by Lord Granville, the Palatine of Carolina. 

Soon, the spirit of toleration, which had existed in some form from 
the beginnings of the settlements on Albemarle Sound and on the 
banks of the Ashley River, vanished under the campaign to establish 
the Anglican Church in both sections of Carolina. This campaign af- 
fected all people and all areas of life, for control of the colonial legis- 
lature meant not only religious but social and commercial domination 
for the Anglicans— a domination which they maintained until the 
Revolution. Perhaps the consequences of the end of toleration were 
best summarized by an enemy of the Anglicans who asked: "Cannot 
Dissenters Kill Wolves and Bears, etc., as well as Church-men; and also 
Fell Tree s and Clear Ground for Plantations?" 54 

62 Map in David Ramsay, History of South Carolina (Newberry, South Carolina: 
W. J. Duffie, 2 volumes, 1858), II, 3. 

83 Carl Bridenbaugh, Cities in the Wilderness (New York: Ronald Press, 1938), 
262; for an excellent account of the Indian trade see Crane, Southern Frontier. The 
only towns outside of Charles Town were Dorchester, containing about 350 people, 
and Wiltown, on the South Edisto. Edward McCrady, "Slavery in the Province of 
South Carolina, 1670-1770," The American Historical Review, I (1895-1896), 644. 

54 A concise account of the fighting over the establishment of the Church of England 
in both sections of Carolina is in Elizabeth H. Davidson, The Establishment of the 
English Church in the Continental American Colonies (Durham: Duke University 
Press, 1936), 47-66; Archdale's Description of Carolina, 1707, Salley, Narratives, 305. 



DANIEL WORTH: TAR HEEL ABOLITIONIST 

By Noble J. Tolbert * 

North Carolina was plagued with several abolitionists shortly before 
the Civil War. None was more colorful, vigorous, or extreme than 
the Reverend Daniel Worth— North Carolinian by birth, Wesleyan 
Methodist minister by profession, abolitionist by choice. 

Daniel Worth, son of Job and Rhoda Macy Worth, was born in the 
"Old Center" Quaker community of Guilford County, North Carolina, 
on May 3, 1795. The Worth family were devout Quakers, but Daniel 
"was not religiously inclined in his earlier years. . . ." r No reason is 
given for this lax attitude toward the Quaker religion by Worth, but 
one would imagine it was too peaceful and quiet for the robust and 
restless young Daniel. Though he may have been remiss toward his 
religion, he seems to have taken advantage of such educational op- 
portunities as were offered him, for his letters are those of a learned 
man. 2 Worth married Elizabeth Swaim, daughter of Joshua and Sarah 
(Elliott) Swaim of Randolph County, on March 5, 1818. 

The Quakers were discontented with slavery in North Carolina, and 
many of them joined the trek to Indiana after that territory became 
a State. 3 Daniel and his little family, including his mother and father, 
left North Carolina in the spring of 1822 during this emigration. 
Daniel's father, Job, died on September 30, 1822, soon after they had 
arrived at their new home in the western part of Indiana. During the 
next year they moved to an eastern county, Randolph, to eighty acres 
of land which Worth had acquired. 4 

* Mr. Tolbert is Library Assistant, North Carolina Collection, University of North 
Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. 

x Roy S. Nicholson, Wesleyan Methodism in the South (Syracuse, New York: Wes- 
leyan Methodist Publishing House, 1933), 78-79, hereinafter cited as Nicholson, 
Wesleyan Methodism in the South. 

3 "Friends from an early date provided for elementary education and they constructed 
the first school house in southwest Guilford County. Levi Coffin taught there between 
1813 and 1822." Francis C. Anscombe, I Have Called You Friends (Boston, Massachu- 
setts: The Christopher Publishing House, 1959), 316. Levi Coffin, later chief engineer 
of the Underground Railroad, could have been an influence on Worth's anti-slavery 
sentiment. 

8 North Carolina Quakers who settled in Indiana frequently named towns and coun- 
ties there for those which they had recently left. 

*E. Tucker, History of Randolph County, Indiana (Chicago, Illinois: [publisher 
unknown], 1882), 404-405, hereinafter cited as Tucker, History of Randolph County, 
Indiana. 



Daniel Worth 285 




This picture of Daniel Worth was taken from an original photograph in the posses- 
sion of Everett Davis of Fountain City, Indiana. 

In 1840 the first State Anti-Slavery Society of Indiana was organized, 
and Daniel Worth was elected its first president. 5 On November 9 a 
district meeting of this society was held in Economy, Indiana. "A com- 
mittee of three, consisting of Arnold Buffum, Daniel Worth and 
Nathan Johnson . . . was appointed to propose business for the con- 
vention." 6 They proposed that the convention, among other things, 
call a National Abolitionists Convention to nominate a president and 
vice-president for the coming national election; secondly, they sug- 
gested that the convention select five delegates to the State conven- 
tion. Daniel Worth was slated to be one of the five delegates to the 
State convention. 

On February 8, 1841, the State Anti-Slavery Society convened in 
Newport, Indiana, and also called for a national convention to nomi- 
nate candidates for the forthcoming election. The annual convention of 
this society was again held in Newport the following year on Septem- 
ber 5, 1842. During this meeting a resolution was adopted calling on 
Henry Clay to free his slaves. Worth was chosen a member of the 

6 W. D. Waldrip, "A Station of the Underground Railroad," Indiana Quarterly Mag- 
azine of History, VIII (June, 1911), 64-65. 

6 C. M. G., "The First Manumission Society," Indiana Quarterly Magazine of History, 
VII (December, 1910), 184-187. 



286 The North Carolina Historical Review 

committee to present this document to Clay when he came to Rich- 
mond, Indiana, on October 1 to speak and campaign for the presi- 
dency. Because of his position at the rear of the crowd and some 
confusion as to the time of the presentation, Worth did not join in 
presenting the petition with two thousand signatures to Clay. He was 
in the audience, however, when it was presented and heard Clay tell 
the bearer to go home and mind his own business. 7 

Worth joined the Methodist Episcopal Church about 1831 but 
divorced himself from that body in 1842 and assisted in organizing 
in Indiana the Wesleyan Methodist Church whose doctrine was 
contrary to slavery. 8 He devoted his full time and energy to his new. 
church and its related antislavery work, and in September, 1843, he 
was licensed to preach; the following September he was ordained an 
elder at a conference in Cincinnati. 9 Apparently he was very active in 
the church, and notice must have been taken of his zeal in performing 
his duties, for in 1848 he was elected president of the General Con- 
ference of the Wesleyan Methodist Church meeting in New York. 10 
No specific record of progress made by the national church as a result 
of his administration is extant, but it is known that the denomination 
was growing, and with its growth one suspects the president's respon- 
sibilities grew also. 

In 1850 he left Indiana for Ohio where he was pastor of several 
churches. From Ohio he moved into Kentucky in 1853 to help John 
G. Fee and the famous Cassius M. Clay with their anti-slavery work. 
Kentucky was a challenge to him; here was his first real test against 
those he termed "mobocrats." About 1855 he returned to Ohio where 
"he pastored a church of some sixty or seventy ex-slaves who had some- 
how managed to escape the clutches of this terrible dragon, slavery." n 

The Republican party was nationally organized at a convention on 
February 22, 1856, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The party adopted a 
platform and called for a national nominating convention for June 17. 
Between February and June the various States held conventions to 
select delegates to this nominating convention, but "the state conven- 
tion which met in Indianapolis on May 1, 1856, refused even to adopt 
the name 'Republican,' insisting on being known as the 'People's' 

7 Charles W. Osborn, "Henry Clay at Richmond," Indiana Quarterly Magazine of 
History, IV (December, 1908), 117-128. 

8 Tucker, History of Randolph County, Indiana, 405. 

9 Tucker, History of Randolph County, Indiana, 405. 

10 Matthew Simpson (ed.), Cyclopaedia of Methodism (Philadelphia: L. H. Everts, 
1881), 965-966. 

11 Nicholson, Wesleyan Methodism in the South, 80. 



Daniel Worth 287 

party. . . ." 12 Worth was back in Indiana in 1856 and was interested 
in the new Republican Party, but he was disgusted that the State con- 
vention under the influence of the "Know-Nothings" had refused to 
have anything to do with this new party. Worth urged George W. 
Julian 13 to call another convention composed of only anti-slavery men 
so that delegates could be chosen to represent Indiana at the Pitts- 
burgh convention, 14 but nothing was ever done about calling another 
convention. 15 

Worth was elected president of the Indiana Conference of the 
Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1856, and he was immediately con- 
fronted with a new problem. One of the laws of the Wesleyan Meth- 
odist Church forbade its ministers and members from becoming mem- 
bers of "secret oath-bound societies." Although no particular society 
was mentioned by name, it is assumed the church was referring to 
fraternal organizations. Worth upheld this canon to the annoyance 
of some of the younger members of the conference who chose to 
be lax in their observance. This controversy caused much agitation 
within the conference. Worth said in a letter concerning one of his ad- 
versaries: ". . . before he can ever receive the recognition of a brother 
from me [he] has got to take back and apologise [sic] for the mean 
vulgar thrust made at me on the conference floor at Westfield." 16 
This must have been a hectic meeting, but finally Worth won a vote 
of confidence by a narrow count of fourteen to eleven. This battle was 
won, but undoubtedly Worth knew the war was lost. 

After this experience he was ready to go elsewhere to avoid being 
harrassed by "young upstarts" as he referred to them. The conference 
finally selected Worth to go to North Carolina as a missionary. He 
agreed to go to his native State if his expenses en route were paid. 17 
The selection of Worth to go afield could have been because he was 

12 Grace Julian Clarke, "Documents," Indiana Quarterly Magazine of History, XXVI 
(June, 1930), 152-154, hereinafter cited as Clarke, "Documents." 

33 Congressman from Indiana, candidate for the vice-presidency on the free-soil ticket 
in 1852, he took a leading part in the formation of the Republican Party. Allen 
Johnson, Dumas Malone and Others, Dictionary of American Biography (New York: 
Charles Scribner's Sons, 20 volumes [Supplementary Volumes XXI and XXII], 1928- 
1958), X, 245-246, hereinafter cited as Malone, Dictionary of American Biography. 

14 Daniel Worth to George W. Julian, May 13, 1856, Giddings-Julian Collection, Manu- 
scripts Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C, hereinafter cited as Giddings- 
Julian Collection. 

15 Clarke, "Documents," 152. 

"Daniel Worth to Aaron Worth, April 30, 1858, family papers of Everett Davis, 
Fountain City, Indiana, hereinafter cited as Everett Davis Papers. 

17 Nicholson, Wesleyan Methodism in the South, 81. There seems to be some ques- 
tion as to whether he was a missionary for the Wesleyan Methodist Church or the 
American Missionary Association. In a speech in New York after he escaped, Worth in- 
dicated he was appointed a missionary of the American Missionary Association. The 
Times (Greensboro), May 18, 1860, quoting from the New York Herald. The Greensboro 
paper will hereinafter be cited as The Times. 



288 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the most able and qualified to fight "sin" in the State of North Carolina, 
but it seems like thoughtlessness on the part of the conference to have 
chosen a man sixty-two years old to go to a new territory with such a 
huge circuit to cover. It could have been exile to relieve the conference 
of a source of trouble. This is the most likely reason, for Worth says 
in a letter to his nephew, "I do not expect I shall ever belong to the 
Indiana Conference again. I am now out of it, and I think probably, 
I shall not return to it." He was also bitter because the older members 
had not stood beside him as he thought they should. "My toils and 
sacrafices Isic] are known to all the brethren, and if these will not 
shield me from the flouts of upstarts, I can at least show a defclent 
self respect. . . ." 18 

After being virtually ostracized by the Indiana Conference, Worth 
left for North Carolina. All references to his departure are vague, but 
all agree that it was in the fall of 1857. En route he attended the annual 
meeting of the American Missionary Association on October 14 in 
Mansfield, Ohio. The society loaded him down with copies of Helpers 
The Impending Crisis in the South and other anti-slavery propa- 
ganda. 19 There is no list of the other material, nor does it matter, be- 
cause when Worth picked up fifty copies of Helpers book he became 
a human time bomb. One author has contended that Worth was shrewd 
enough to know not to give these books to the slaves; instead he gave 
them to slaveholders in an effort to influence their opinion against 
slavery. 20 Whether he had the books for slaves or slaveholders, he was 
still ignoring the laws of North Carolina. He was about to prove to 
the Indiana Conference that his exile would be a noisy and spectacular 
one. 

On November 9, 1857, Worth reported to his benefactors, the Ameri- 

18 Daniel Worth to Aaron Worth, April 30, 1858, New Salem, North Carolina, 
Everett Davis Papers. 

19 Hinton Rowan Helper was born on Bear Creek, Davie County, near the village of 
Mocksville, on December 27, 1829. He wrote The Impending Crisis of the South when 
he was twenty-seven years old. He was appointed Consul at Buenos Aires, Argentina, 
in 1862 as a reward for his contribution to the anti-slavery cause. He died in March, 
1909, at the age of eighty by his own hand. In reference to The Impending Crisis of 
the South, "this book was probably the most caustic, scathing, and vituperative criti- 
cism of slavery and slaveholders ever written." ". . . it created a greater political 
furore than any volume ever published in America, and it had a tremendous bearing 
on Lincoln's election in 1860 and on the sectional conflict which followed. Here was a 
clear, caustic, vigorous attack on slavery by a Southerner of the non-slaveholders." He 
was convinced that the slave was ruinous to the economy of the South. In some sec- 
tions of the country Helper was considered the new Moses. He would have led these 
people out of bondage and back to Africa. This new Moses, however, did not have 
any love for his children, "it is doubtful if America has ever produced a more bitter 
Negrophobe than Helper." Hugh Talmage Lefler, . . . Hinton Rowan Helper, Advocate 
of a White America (Charlottesville, Virginia: The Historical Publishing Company, 
1935), 1-19. 

20 Nicholson, Wesleyan Methodism in the South, 82. 



Daniel Worth 289 

can Missionary Association: "Dear Brother— I have reached my post, 
and preached my first sermon yesterday." 21 Worth's report was printed 
in The American Missionary of January, 1858, and quickly attracted at- 
tention in North Carolina. A "friend," no doubt a watchful guardian 
of the southern peace, sent the issue to the North Carolina Presby- 
terian and thus precipitated the local attack on Worth. The editor, the 
Reverend George McNeill, noting that the Missionary Society had 
included North Carolina in "the sphere of their benevolent operations 
. . ." demanded that Worth leave the State at once and asked Thomas 
Ruffin, Jr., solicitor of the Fourth Circuit, to take action. 22 There is no 
evidence that Ruffin attempted to do anything about Worth, and 
Worth ignored McNeill's suggestion that he leave the State. 

Worth indicated in a letter to his nephew, Aaron Worth, that he had 
been traveling his circuit, which consisted of five counties and twenty 
preaching stations, until a week or two prior to April 30, 1858. He 
stopped at this point because his wife was dying. This was un- 
doubtedly the most serious blow the old man had had to bear. Worth's 
letter to his nephew is filled with compassion for his wife and com- 
panion for forty years. 23 Mrs. Worth died May 12, 1858, and Worth 
poured himself into his work with even more vigor and determination 
than formerly. He finished selling the original fifty copies of Helper's 
book and sold seventy more copies; in addition, he secured subscrip- 
tions to the New York Tribune, the secular "Bible" of the abolitionists. 24 

21 Daniel Worth, "North Carolina," The American Missionary, II (January, 1858), 
21-22. The letter is reprinted herewith in full: 

NORTH CAROLINA 

From Rev. D. Worth 
Randolph Co. Nov. 9, 1857 

Dear Brother — I have reached my post, and preached my first sermon yesterday. I 
had a large and attentive congregation, and trust good was done. In addition to these 
ordinary classifications assemblies, saints and sinners, we had in our assembly yester- 
day a few "chattels," who acted with as much reverence and decorum, as though 
they really supposed themselves human beings. A more unlooked for auditor was a 
slavetrader, whom I soon recognized as an old acquintance of some forty years stand- 
ing. I received an invitation to visit him at his elegant mansion, and partake of his 
hospitalities. I am gratified with the hope entertained by friends here, that a more 
effectual door is now opening to a free gospel in the old North State than heretofore. 
My post office address is New Salem, Randolph Co., N. C. 

82 The North Carolina Presbyterian (Fayetteville), January 15, 1858, hereinafter 
cited as North Carolina Presbyterian. 

23 "0 how solemn, how sad the thought, that one you love, and with whom you have 
breasted lifes bitter cups, must now meet the last dread conflict alone! As I stand 
and look on her emaciated form I sometimes feel like I could take her by the hand 
and descend death's vale together, so that in death, as in life we should not be 
divided. But my chief consolation is that He who trod the way before her stands by 
her in this hour of extremity. May we each, when our turn shall come, find like sup- 
porting grace." Daniel Worth to Aaron Worth, April 30, 1858, New Salem, Everett 
Davis Papers. 

31 Nicholson, Wesleyan Methodism in the South, 83-85. 



290 The North Carolina Historical Review 

He also went on a lecture tour in the North trying to raise money for 
his personal expenses. 

Worth openly defied his adversaries, but the people did not re- 
taliate. In general, Worth was left to hang himself. This sort of tolera- 
tion was not out of character for the people of North Carolina. Worth 
was not without insight into his peculiar situation. He wrote his 
nephew explaining the situation which existed in the State at this time: 

They [the people of his circuit] are exceedingly anxious for me to 
remain another year, and there would seem to be a hand of Providence 
in it, as I can preach, and have done it, as strong and direct against slavery 
as ever you heard me in the north, and I believe there is not another man 
that could. The reasons for this I cannot explain in a short letter, but are 
mainly my southern birth on the very spot where I preach ; my age, which 
has reached a point to attract somewhat of reverence, and influential con- 
nectionship, (my cousins are Slaveholders & are men of great popularity) 
my wife's very large relationship, and my general acquaintance with the 
old men of the country, and with the fathers of the young — 25 

After the death of his wife, Worth's daughter married Dr. C. W. 
Woolen, of New Salem, North Carolina. Worth resided with the 
Woolens until May 19, 1859, when he married Hulda Swaim Cude, 
the widowed sister of his deceased wife. This second marriage did 
not retard Worth's anti-slavery campaign. One author attributes to 
Worth a letter which appeared in the Boston Tract Journal of June, 
1859, in which he reported success in distributing anti- slavery books. 
"These books were circulated at first rather covertly; but greatly dis- 
liking this covert operation, I came out boldly, disdaining all con- 
cealment, and my book agencies are probably doing more than I am 
able to do by preaching." 26 

During the summer of 1859 a breach occurred between Worth and 
the Quakers of the State. Worth did not believe in moderation in 
fighting slavery as used by the Quakers. He spoke out against this 
practice, and they retaliated by refusing to let him use their meeting- 
houses for his services. On August 17, 1859, Worth wrote a very un- 
complimentary letter concerning the Quakers to Dr. Nathan Hill: 

I charge the Quaker Church — with all its anti-slavery pretensions — 
with being one of the firmest props the infernal institution has in the land. 

He explained the reason he could not vote for slaveholders as the 
Quakers did: 

5 Daniel Worth to Aaron Worth, April 30, 1858, New Salem, Everett Davis Papers. 
38 William K. Boyd, History of North Carolina, Volume II, The Federal Period, 
1783-1860 (Chicago and New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1919), 324. 



Daniel Worth 291 

Yet I cannot vote for a slaveholder to save the Union, dear as it is. Truth 
is dearer than the Union. I cannot do evil that good may come. If the Union 
is only to be saved and held together by the cement of the blood of the 
slave, then let the Union perish. 27 

Some concern with the activities of the Reverend Daniel Worth was 
evident after the John Brown affair. On November 26, 1859, the die 
was cast. The North Carolina Presbyterian, which a year earlier had 
started the campaign against Worth, came out with an even more 
pointed article against him. The paper made it plain that anyone was 
welcomed in the State "to preach Christ and Him Crucified. . . ." But 
"tract agents" were not welcomed, and "society must be protected 
against cut-throats and assassins, and the sword of the civil magistrate 
is the instrument which God had appointed for their punishment/' 
The paper further stated that because such punishment had not yet 
been imposed upon this "run-mad fanatic" this should not be taken as 
a sign of his innocence. In closing, a course of action was recom- 
mended: "The mildest treatment which can be administered to him 
is to remove him from the State, and this we advise." 28 The paper did 
not call this "run-mad fanatic" by name, but it was responsible for 
putting the lighted match to the tinder. The secular press soon took 
up the cry started by the North Carolina Presbyterian. The Western 
Democrat said, "We hope the Presbyterian will give the name of 
the Agent, his location, and thus let the public know who he 
is." 29 Next, the Weekly Standard asked, "What is his name?" and went 
so far as to suggest in type that it might be Daniel Worth. 30 The North 
Carolina Presbyterian had accomplished its purpose by inflaming the 
press. On December 17 the North Carolina Presbyterian, said: "In 
answer to the . . . explicit inquiries, it is our duty to state that the 
emissary to whom we have referred is Daniel Worth." 31 The editor 
insisted that he be punished for his incendiary action and called upon 
the authorities to do so immediately. Many of Worth's relatives, de- 
clared the editor, "have no sympathy with the man and sternly dis- 
countenance his proceedings." 32 

A few days before Christmas the Weekly Standard asked, "Why is 
not this man arrested? If the law will not take hold of him, let the 



'"Daniel Worth to Dr. Nathan Hill, August 17, 1859, New Salem, printed in the 
North Carolina Whig (Charlotte), January 31, 1860. 
88 North Carolina Presbyterian, November 26, 1859. 
29 Western Democrat (Charlotte), December 6, 1859. 

80 Weekly Standard (Raleigh), December 14, 1859, hereinafter cited as Weekly 
Standard. 

81 North Carolina Presbyterian, December 17, 1859. 
83 North Carolina Presbyterian, December 17, 1859. 



292 The North Carolina Historical Review 

strong arm of an outraged people be stretched forth to arrest him in 
his incendiary work." 33 This paper was now asking the people to take 
the law into their own hands. 

On the same date the Semi-Weekly Standard published a letter from 
one of its correspondents, A. M. Ingold. This letter is a splendid ex- 
ample of the disgust and contempt a segment of the populace had for 
the Reverend Daniel Worth and his operations. Ingold contended that 
Worth was not in slaveholding country but in a very poor section 
where few slaves existed. He suggested that he go to a richer section 
where he could find more slaves. "I have never yet heard of his 'preach- 
ing' to a congregation composed of respectable persons," he continued. 
"Those who attend his meetings are only the low-down and extremely 
ignorant. . . ." Ingold further cited Worth as a dangerous man because 
he was "sowing seeds of rapine and insurrection" among that class of 
people, and he pointed out that those people would be willing to fol- 
low anyone into a crusade— preferably religious. He closed his tirade 
on Worth with these remarks: 

I have seen him frequently, and from what I saw of him I came to the 
conclusion that he is an ignorant, uncouth, ill-bred man, a very fair 
specimen of the country which he represents; and were he hamstrung 
and swung upon a pole with his heels up, and a corn-cob put into his 
mouth, he would more resemble a three hundred pound hog than anything 
I can compare him to just now. 34 

Worth's only means of escape from these threats was to flee the 
State, but being unyielding by nature and confident that "righteous- 
ness" would prevail, he continued his rounds of the circuit. Sometime 
on the afternoon of December 22, 1859, he called at the home of Hiram 
Worth, a relative, in Greensboro. He was advised at this time that 
several warrants were out for his arrest. Worth sent for the sheriff 
of Guilford County and indicated that he was ready to stand before 
his accusers. One Mr. Boon, the sheriff, and his men came without (Jelay 
and took Worth to the Greensboro jail. Bail was offered by friends, 
but the offense was considered not to be bailable because the circulat- 
ing of incendiary material was considered a capital crime. The Guil- 
ford County jail was far from comfortable, and Worth found himself 
in a cold cell without fire or adequate bedding. 35 It certainly was not 
a place to spend a winter evening discussing the abolition movement 
with friends. 



33 Weekly Standard, December 21, 1859. 

34 Semi-Weekly Standard (Raleigh), December 17, 1859. 

85 Nicholson, Wesleyan Methodism in the South, 92-93. 



Daniel Worth 293 

On the afternoon of December 24, 1859, Worth was given a pre- 
liminary hearing before Justices Lindsay, Hiatt, and Adams. Some re- 
ports say the crowd was in a frenzy, demanding of the justices that 
Worth be lynched on the spot. 36 This report seems doubtful, but the 
crowd did become excited. Ralph Gorrell, a Greensboro lawyer, tried 
to reason with the crowd by asking them to let the law take its course. 
During the hearing Worth showed the State how stubborn he could 
be by refusing to retain counsel; he preferred instead to read aloud 
from the book which had got him into trouble. This procedure irritated 
the Court, and the officials refused to hear him read further from this 
violent document. The Weekly Standard of December 28, 1859, gave 
the following account of the trial: 

Some fifteen or sixteen witnesses were examined. It was proved that 
he had used in his sermons the strongest and vilest incendiary language, 
and had circulated Helper's book. Among other things he has declared 
publicly that he has "no respect for the laws of North Carolina" . . . that 
"they were enacted by adulterers, drunkards, and gamblers" . . . and that 
he "would not have had old John Brown hung for a thousand worlds." 37 

Worth was bound over to the Superior Court which would convene 
in the spring. His bond was set at $5,000, and immediately it was 
posted by George W. Bowman and David Hodgins, but the Court de- 
manded a second bond of $5,000 to insure his good behavior. 38 The 
bondsmen were not as quick to come forward now since they had 
found out that four other counties of his circuit were seeking him 
and would arrest him as soon as he was released on bond. They felt 
in all fairness to their pocketbooks that they should let the Reverend 
Mr. Worth remain in jail until the spring thaw. 

Ironically, the law under which Worth was to be tried had been 
passed thirty years earlier as the result of action by another North 
Carolina anti-slavery agitator. In 1829, a free Negro from North 
Carolina, who had emigrated to Boston, wrote one of the first in- 
cendiary publications which was of any concern to the South. David 
Walker, the author, suggested to the slaves in that pamphlet that they 
should free themselves by the use of violence if necessary. The whole 
South became frightened at what might come to pass if this and 
other pamphlets of similar nature were allowed to circulate among the 
Negroes. Various State legislatures passed laws against the circulation 
of such material. On December 9, 1830, the General Assembly of 

89 Nicholson, Wesleyan Methodism in the South, 93. 

87 Weekly Standard, December 28, 1859. 

* Nicholson, Wesleyan Methodism in the South, 93. 



294 The North Carolina Historical Review 

North Carolina passed a bill prohibiting the circulation of such ma- 
terial and also prohibited the teaching of slaves to read. The first 
offense was to be punishable by one year in prison, and at the discre- 
tion of the Court a whipping might be added. The second offense was 
punishable by death without benefit of clergy. This law abridging free- 
dom of the press and of speech was rarely invoked. Only in troubled 
times when tension ran high and minds became clouded with thoughts 
of a black rebellion was there talk of invoking this law. 39 

The second bond was not given by Worth's friends. He was, there- 
fore, lodged in the Guilford County jail at Greensboro to await the 
convening of Superior Court in the spring. The most uncomfortable 
part about returning to jail was the cold weather. 40 One author con- 
tends that Worth's feet froze owing to the severe winter and mean 
condition of the jail. 41 The authorities were not concerned, however, 
with the temperature of the prisoner's cell but with the prisoner him- 
self. The jail was placed under heavy guard for fear the prisoner 
would escape or be lynched. The authorities' caution was justified after 
such articles as the one that appeared in a New Bern newspaper: 

In Limbo. — The Reverend Daniel Worth, John Brown sypathiser, is 
now in the Greensboro Jail, and the building is under guard. Why not 
take him out and hang him ? 42 

On the following day another article in the same tone appeared: 

We still think that Worth when arrested, should have been taken in 
hand by the populace and swung to the nearest tree. Folly to talk about 
letting law take its course in such cases. 43 

The hope that Worth would be lynched went unfulfilled because the 
people of North Carolina, in general, were law-abiding citizens— they 
would wait upon the judgment of the Court. 

About this time John W. Ellis, Governor of North Carolina, received 
a letter from John T. Harriss of Randolph County opening up an en- 
tirely new development in the Worth Case. Harriss pointed an accus- 
ing finger at several men in Randolph County who owned Helper's 
book: 



69 William Clement Eaton, Freedom of Thought in the Old South (Durham: Duke 
University Press, 1940), 118-143. 

^The temperatures the first five days of January were: 24°, 14°, 2°, 18°, 22°. 
Weekly Standard, March 7, 1860. 

41 Nicholson, Wesleyan Methodism in the South, 97. 

43 Daily Progress (New Bern), January 2, 1860, hereinafter cited as Daily Progress. 

46 Daily Progress, January 3, 1860. 



Daniel Worth 295 

Eden Randolph County N C 

December, the 30 day 1859 
John W. Ellis, Governor 

Sir I drop you a Fiew lines concerning Daniel Worth he has bin ciruclat- 
ing a seditious Book in this neighbourhood by the title of Helpers in- 
pending Crisis, one Jacob Briles, senr has one and also one Jacob Briles 
jur has one and one William Yates has one and it can bea proven that 
theay got them of this same Daniel Worth and it is thought by some of 
our best men that he has box of arms depoisited at Jacob Briles in this 
county Worth has made Briles his home when in this Neighborhood and 
at some time not long since there was a Waggon at Brileses and unloaded 
a large long Box what the contents was no one knows the report is that 
it was guns as to truth of the mater I cant say but I think that the matter 
should be looked into in the investigation of Worths Case you can get any 
amount of proof against him by sending to this county in different cases 
you should have Dr N. B. Hill brought before you of this county he has 
letters in his possesion, sent to him by Worth that Hill says that if the 
People knew what the contents was that Worth would be mobed I think 
the matter in this county should be investigated before Worth is dis- 
charged 44 

Upon receipt of this letter from Harriss Governor Ellis requested Judge 
John M. Dick 45 to "investigate the facts, and have due search made 
for arms incendiary books etc." 46 To Harriss he wrote, "You are en- 
titled to the thanks of the public for the zeal which you manifest and 
may continue to manifest in bringing the guilty to justice." 47 Judge 
Dick hastened to assure the Governor that "You, and all friends of 
Law & order, may be fully satisfied, that we will do our duty & our 
whole duty in this matter, and no one will escape against whom evi- 
dence can be procured." 48 

Worth withstood the agony of the prison cell as any martyr should— 
without complaining. In a letter to his new wife dated "In my Prison, 
Jan. 6th, 1860," Worth assured her that they would be rewarded for 
the many afflictions which they had suffered. "If needs be," he con- 
tinued, "let us suffer as Christians, for it is better to suffer under the 
wrong interpretation, and consequent injurious enforcements of the 

44 John T. Harriss to Governor Ellis, December 30, 1859, Governor's Papers (John W. 
Ellis), State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, hereinafter cited as Ellis 
Papers. 

46 John McClintock Dick, born 1791 in eastern Guilford County; graduate of the 
University of North Carolina; State Senator, 1829-1831; elected to the Superior 
Court bench in 1835 and served until his death October 16, 1861. Kemp P. Battle, 
History of the University of North Carolina . . . (Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton, 
Co., for the author, 2 volumes, 1907-1912), II, 321, hereinafter cited as Battle, History 
of the Unvuersitii 

48 Governor Ellis to John M. Dick, January 4, 1860, Letter Book (John W. Ellis), 
hereinafter cited as Ellis Letter Book. 

47 Governor Ellis to John T. Harriss, January 4, 1860, Ellis Letter Book. 

48 John M. Dick to Governor Ellis, January 6, 1860, Ellis Papers. 



296 The North Carolina Historical Review 

law than to resist." 49 Worth knew he was safe in the jail, but he was 
uncertain what he might find outside if he were free. "I could have 
given bail, but I sought the security of bolts and prison bars. The fact 
is, that if I had been outside the prison of Greensboro I would have 
lost my life through the violence of a mob." 50 

About January 12 Worth was taken out of the jail in Greensboro and 
transported to Randolph County to face charges of circulating Helper's 
book. Judge John M. Dick found probable cause and required him to 
give bond of $5,000 to appear at the spring term of the Randolph 
Superior Court. Worth was remanded to jail for failure to give bond, 
but he was returned to Greensboro since the jail there was considered 
safer. 51 

From New York on January 14, 1860, Benjamin S. Hedrick 52 wrote 
Ralph Gorrell urging him to take the Worth case and any others in- 
volving abolitionists. He promised that money would be raised in the 
North for his fees. Hedrick felt that Judge Romulus M. Saunders and 
William W. Holden both should be hanged because, in his opinion, they 
were responsible for inciting mobs to persecute the abolitionists. 53 Gor- 
rell had been instrumental in calming the mob at Worth's preliminary 
hearing in Greensboro in December. 

Hedrick was also trying to win over Thomas Ruffin, former justice 
of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, to Worth's side and persuade 
him to use his influence to help Worth. In a letter to Ruffin, Hedrick 
wrote: 

In order that you may have an opportunity to know also what offence 
is laid to some of these men I send you a copy of Helper's book. You will 



49 Nicholson, Wesleyan Methodism in the South, 95. 

M Address by Daniel Worth before a meeting in New York on May 7, 1860. The 
Times, May 19, 1860, quoting from the New York Herald. 

51 Nicholson, Wesleyan Methodism in the South, 96. The story was also told that 
several ladies had attended a meeting held by Worth in Randolph County the previous 
summer and set on the front row. Worth ordered them to give up their seats to 
some "black sisters" and sit elsewhere. Semi-Weekly Standard, January 18, 1860. 

52 Benjamin Sherwood Hedrick was born in Davidson County, on February 13, 1827. 
He graduated from the University of North Carolina with honors in 1851. In 1852 he 
returned to that institution as professor of chemistry as applied to agriculture and 
arts. In 1856 he was accused of being a "black Republican" by W. W. Holden after 
he made the statement that he would vote for Fremont if a Republican ticket were 
formed in North Carolina. He was dismissed from the University because of this 
opinion after he refused to resign. He went North and later became principal examiner 
in the U. S. Patent Office. Battle, History of the University, I, 654-657. 

53 B. S. Hedrick to Ralph Gorrell, January 14, 1860, Ralph Gorrell Papers, Southern 
Historical Collection, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill, hereinafter 
cited as Ralph Gorrell Papers. R. M. Saunders was a judge of the Superior Court, 
and the only one Worth feared because of his extreme prejudice against the abolition 
movement. W. W. Holden was editor of the North Carolina Standard and an in- 
fluential figure in the State. Under his attack B. S. Hedrick had been dismissed from 
the University in 1856. His prejudice against the abolition cause was no less than 
that of Saunders. Battle, History of the University, I, 654-657. 



Daniel Worth 297 

find that not a word in it is addressed to either free or slave negroes, 
That most of the sentiments that are current in the state and attributed 
to this book, are the fabrications of the New York Herald** 



Ruffin was never moved to intervene in the Worth case even though 
he was reputed to have been a childhood friend of Worth's. 55 

While counsel for Worth was being sought, the case against him 
remained in the public eye. On December 28, 1859, a package being 
shipped by train to Jesse Pope, "a simple inoffensive and illiterate 
fellow" in High Point, came open in Raleigh. The package was found 
to contain two hundred copies of Helper's Impending Crisis of the 
South. 56 Holden and Judge Saunders were notified of this package 
at the Raleigh station. They agreed to let the books go on to the High 
Point post office, however, and a writ was issued for the arrest of Pope 
when he should claim the package. It so happened that Pope was an 
invalid and could not go to the post office for the books. After con- 
sultation with Pope it was learned that he had permitted Daniel Worth 
to use his name and address to receive a package of books the previous 
year. Pope presumed Worth was doing the same again. He swore he 
knew neither the contents of the package nor of its existence until 
informed by the authorities. After several weeks the package was 
taken from the post office, and High Point had a "bookburning" in 
the public square. 57 

Jonathan Worth, later Governor of North Carolina and a cousin of 
the incarcerated Daniel, came to the aid of his relative. On March 10, 
1860, he wrote to the Reverend George McNeill, editor of the North 
Carolina Presbyterian, asking for help. McNeill's paper had been the 
first to start the campaign against Worth, and Jonathan pointed out 
that the abolitionists would make a martyr out of his cousin com- 
parable to John Brown. He was also concerned with the horror of 
having an old minister whipped, but he quickly pointed out that: 

Daniel Worth is as fit a case for the execution of the law as could well 
be presented, if he were not an old man and a minister of the Gospel of 
exemplary character, save in the particular of Abolitionism. In this par- 
ticular he is an enthusiastic monomanic. 58 

Jonathan Worth requested that McNeill write Judge Ruffin and secure 

54 J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, The Papers of Thomas Ruffin (Raleigh: North Carolina 
Historical Commission [State Department of Archives and History], 4 volumes, 1918- 
1920), III, 64, hereinafter cited as Hamilton, Ruffin Papers. 

65 Nicholson, Wesleyan Methodism in the South, 79. 

56 The Weekly Raleigh Register, January 4, 1860. 

B7 Semi-Weekly Standard, March 17, 1860, quoting from the High Point Reporter. 

58 Hamilton, Ruffin Papers, III, 74. 



298 The North Carolina Historical Review 

his influence for a light sentence for cousin Daniel. Jonathan felt that 
Daniel should be convicted but that the sentence should be suspended 
on the condition that he leave the State. 

While a plea for a light sentence was being made by Jonathan Worth, 
Ralph Gorrell dunned Hedrick for his fees. Gorrell and James T. More- 
head took Worth's case after Gorrell had received the request to do so 
from Hedrick in the middle of January. In his letter Gorrell complained 
to Hedrick that he must be paid immediately because Randolph Court 
was only two weeks away and Worth had made no other arrangements 
for paying counsel. 59 Worth relied entirely on Hedrick and his friends 
for financial assistance. 

On March 12, 1860, the Worth case appeared to take a turn for the 
better. Editor McNeill, of the North Carolina Presbyterian, complied 
with the request of Jonathan Worth and wrote a letter to Judge Ruffin 
enclosing Jonathan's letter. McNeill told Ruffin that if Worth were con- 
victed he would publish an appeal to the Governor on the condition 
that Worth leave the State. "But if you advise the contrary it will not 
be done." 60 There is no record that Judge Ruffin advised McNeill on 
what course to pursue, but no appeal by McNeill ever appeared. 

The money for Gorrell and Morehead was on its way from the North. 
Hedrick wrote Gorrell on March 17, indicating that four hundred dol- 
lars would soon be in his hands. The remaining one hundred dollars 
would be forthcoming before March 21, I860. 61 Five hundred dollars 
was the fee that Gorrell and Morehead were paid. 62 Hedrick also in- 
formed Gorrell that Edgar Ketchum, a prominent New York attorney, 
had raised two hundred dollars and had sent it to Dr. Woolen, Worth's 
son-in-law. This money was undoubtedly meant for the personal use of 
Worth. 

Hedrick was amazed that Helper's book was to be used against 
Worth. He pointed out that the book was not liked by the abolitionist 
at first because it ignored the Negro. Only after the book had been so 
abused by the "slavite" did the abolitionists defend it. Hedrick con- 
tended that there was much concern in the North over the Worth case. 
He said that some people in New York were afraid that North Caro- 
lina would postpone his trial or kill him by long imprisonment. A trial 
might reflect unfavorably on the Democratic candidate for President. 63 
Worth, however, went on trial in two weeks. 



59 Ralph Gorrell to B. S. Hedrick, March 12, 1860, Benjamin S. Hedrick Papers, 
Duke University Manuscript Collection, Durham. 

60 Hamilton, Ruffin Papers, III, 73. 

61 B. S. Hedrick to Ralph Gorrell, March 17, 1860, Ralph Gorrell Papers. 

<a Daniel Worth to George W. Julian, May [7], 1860, Giddings-Julian Collection. 
83 B. S. Hedrick to Ralph Gorrell, March 17, 1860, Ralph Gorrell Papers. 



Daniel Worth 299 

The first trial of Daniel Worth was held in Asheboro on March 30, 
I860, with Judge John L. Bailey presiding. Solicitor Thomas Settle, 64 
James R. McLean, and Levi M. Scott appeared for the State; for the 
defense Morehead and Gorrell. This was indeed an array of legal talent 
to command attention on that spring day. A jury was finally selected 
after fifty men had been examined. 65 The indictment was twenty pages 
long on "foolscap paper." Scott's opening remarks to the jury were 
meant to scare a conviction from them: 

If they [the jury] failed to convict, and thus encourage these abolition 
emissaries it would not be long until our fair land would be deluged in 
blood. The darkness of midnight would be lighted up with our burning 
buildings to see the massacred bodies of our wives and children, and that 
the sun would rise ere long upon the dead bodies of slave-holders with 
their throats cut. 66 

The State called a number of witnesses to testify that Worth had 
sold them Helper's book. Two of the witnesses reported that Worth 
had said a man could get his back whipped if he were caught with this 
book. There is no record that the defense called any witnesses to coun- 
ter this strong testimony. In the closing speeches the State used all 
the talent at hand to paint Worth as the devil returned. Gorrell spoke 
for two hours on behalf of the accused. He argued that the statute 
under which Worth was being tried was too rigorous. Morehead closed 
the speeches with an impassioned plea in Worth's behalf. The jury 
retired at 11:30 that night and returned at 4:00 the next morning 
with a verdict of guilty. The prisoner was sentenced to twelve months 
imprisonment, but the Court exercised its discretion to omit the whip- 
ping. 67 The sheriff was ordered to surrender Worth to the Guilford 
County authorities for trial there during the fourth week in April. 

Gorrell and Morehead now felt that Worth would also be convicted 
in Guilford County if they could not present new evidence to the jury. 
As a last resort Gorrell wrote Louis Tappan 68 trying to find that all- 

64 Hiram C. Worth condemned Settle for being unfair during the trial in a broadside 
dated October 25, 1876. At this time Settle was running against Zebulon B. Vance for 
Governor of North Carolina and Vance won the election. There is no evidence as to 
the number of votes Settle lost because of this attack by Hiram Worth. Hiram C. 
Worth, Rev. Dan'l Worth and Mr. Solicitor Settle (Broadside), Quaker Room, Guilford 
College Library, Guilford College. 

65 "They were: Jacob Elliston, Peter Von Cannon, Adam Brown, John Arnold, Henry 
Varner, Calvin Brown, Micajah Cox, Henry Fuller, Thomas Redding, Riley Hill, Wm S. 
Allbright, and Jesse H. Miller." Nicholson, Wesleyan Methodism in the South, 98-99. 

66 Semi-Weekly Standard. April 7, 1860. 

67 Semi-Weekly Standard, April 7, 1860. 

68 Louis Tappan was prominent in organizing the American Missionary Association. 
He served this society as treasurer and president. Malone, Dictionary of American 
Biography, XVIII, 303-304. 



300 The North Carolina Historical Review 

important angle. Gorrell wanted to know the feelings of Tappan con- 
cerning the possibility of getting Worth acquitted on the condition that 
he agree to leave the State. "If he does he will hardly be received as a 
preacher in any State of the Union," Tappan replied. Gorrell explored 
the possibility of charging the American Missionary Society with in- 
ducing Worth to circulate these books, thereby transferring the guilt. 
Tappan emphatically denied this, adding that, "As a missionary of the 
Society with which I am connected, or otherwise, he was never ad- 
vised to circulate Helper's book." 69 Of course, Tappan did not ex- 
plain the gift of anti-slavery literature from the American Missionary 
Society when Worth was starting out for North Carolina in 1857. Tap- 
pan gave Gorrell only one consolation— that Worth's friends would not 
publish anything calculated to inflame the minds of North Carolinians 
concerning Worth. 

The second trial of Worth was held in Greensboro on April 27, 1860. 
This trial was held before the same judge with the same attorneys for 
the prosecution and defense. Two witnesses 70 were introduced by the 
prosecution; one had bought three books from Worth and the other 
testified that he understood Worth had said that he had sold one 
hundred copies of Helper's book. The defense made the point that 
Helper's book could not be introduced as evidence because it did not 
come under the statute. The statute specified a written or printed 
paper or pamphlet, and a book was neither one of these. The judge 
overruled this and said the statute included any and all printed mat 
ter. The case was decided by the jury in only fifteen minutes. 
They returned a verdict of guilty. The Court sentenced Worth to be 
confined to the common jail for twelve months. The judge permitted 
an appeal to the North Carolina Supreme Court. Worth's bail was 
substantially reduced in both Guilford and Randolph counties by the 
judge over the violent objections of Solicitor Settle. 72 The total amount 
of the bonds in all cases now amounted to $3,000. Security was quickly 
given for this small bail, making Worth a free man. 73 

The editor of The Times in Greensboro made an accurate prediction 

69 Louis Tappan to Ralph Gorrell, April 20, 1860, Ralph Gorrell Papers. 

70 The witnesses were George W. Bowman and Joshua Lindey, Nicholson, Wesleyan 
Methodism in the South, 99. 

71 Members of the jury were: "J. N. Millis, G. W. Coble, J. D. McCullock, Peter Shoe, 
George Cannon, C. Alfred Wyrick, Alexander Hanner, E. G. Benthis, Joseph Hoskins, 
Ananel Owens, Wm. J. Love, and Daniel Gillespie." Nicholson, Wesleyan Methodism 
in the South, 100. 

73 The Times, May 5, 1860. 

73 The bond was signed by George W. Bowman, James Davis, John Russell, Elihu 
Mendenhall, and Stephen White. James Davis was a slaveholder, and he let it be 
known that he would sell a Negro to pay the bond if he had to. Nicholson, Wesleyan 
Methodism in the South, 100. 



71 



Daniel Worth 301 

when he wrote, "Hence we presume Worth is now at large, and it is 
the general opinion that he will soon make his escape North, to be 
forever a fugitive from justice from his native state." 74 Worth was tried 
on April 27, and he arrived in New York on May 5. Worth wrote, "I 
have been permitted to make my exodus from the den of slavery." 75 
One report says he fled in a closed carriage soon after the bonds were 
signed and was driven to Virginia where he boarded a train for New 
York. 76 

On Sunday, May 6, Worth started a campaign to raise his bond 
money so that those people who signed his bonds would not lose their 
money since he did not plan to return to North Carolina. He attended 
services at Henry Ward Beecher's church. Beecher declared himself 
unworthy to unfasten "Brother Worth's" shoes. 77 Worth received a 
donation from Beecher's congregation and wrote to George W. Julian 
in Indiana asking him to collect money for him in his congressional 
district. "I expect if I live, to vote for somebody for Congress this fall 
myself in that district." 78 It would appear that Worth was seeking 
Julian's help in return for his vote. 

One of the most interesting meetings at which Worth spoke in this 
period was attended by a gentleman from North Carolina. At this 
meeting, held in the City Assembly Rooms in New York, following 
Worth's appeal for funds to pay his bond, A. Perry Sperry from North 
Carolina arose to question the speaker. The New York Herald gave the 
following account of Sperry's remarks. 

I think Mr. Worth will agree with me, that the majority of the better 
class of the intelligent people of our State only want to be let alone on 
this slavery question. We want you to let us alone. (Cries of "We won't 
let you alone.") We want you to let us alone. "We won't." Then it is tight 
to the death. "Go in!" 

Mr. Louis Tappan rose to a point of order. "The gentlman said he 
wished to ask a few questions; but instead of that, he is going to make 
a speech." Cries of "Go on," "Go on, North Carolina." 

After the commotion had subsided, Sperry asked Worth why nonslave- 
holders had not signed his bond. Worth answered that slaveholders 
could be counted on the side of human liberty just as much as non- 
slaveholders. Sperry asked if Worth did not know that Helper's book 

74 The Times, May 5, 1860. 

7r> Daniel Worth to "Dear Br," May 17, 1860, Personal Miscellany Collection, Manu- 
script Division, Library of Congress. 

76 Tucker, History of Randolph County, Indiana, 405. 

77 Nicholson, Wesleyan Methodism in the South, 102-103. 

78 Daniel Worth to George W. Julian May [7], 1860, Giddings-Julian Collection. 



302 The North Carolina Historical Review 

was contrary to the laws of North Carolina. Worth answered that he 
did not. 79 

Worth's case came before the North Carolina Supreme Court during 
the June term of 1860. Gorrell and Morehead insisted in their argu- 
ments before the Court that Judge Bailey had interpreted the statute 
wrongly. They contended that a bound volume or book, such as 
Helper's book, was not a pamphlet or paper. They further stated that 
the sale and delivery of a copy to George W. Bowman was not a pub- 
lication nor circulation within the meaning of the statute. Finally the 
defense said the book had to be delivered to a slave or free Negro or 
be read in his presence to constitute an offense. 

The court's opinion, written by Judge Matthias E. Manly, held that 
the term "paper" was used in the comprehensive sense in the statute 
to embrace all written or printed matter. It held that anyone who de- 
livered a copy of the book was in fact helping the publication of the 
material. Selling a copy to one man was considered circulation of the 
book. The opinion stated that the book did not have to be delivered 
to a slave or free Negro but that the circulation with the intent of 
causing slaves to revolt was an offense. The Supreme Court upheld 
the Guilford Superior Court decision. 80 

Worth traveled over New England during the summer of 1860, 
seeking funds to pay his bond after the Supreme Court failed to make 
him a free man. On July 11, 1860, Worth wrote his wife, "I have half 
the money to pay my bonds. Thank God for this success. I believe it 
is his gracious will that I should be delivered. If so I shall get the re- 
mainder of the money." 81 By August 6 he had raised all the money 
for his bondsmen. 82 Included was the sum of fifty dollars from Hinton 
Rowan Helper whose book had been the center of the entire con- 
troversy. 

Worth went back to Richmond, Indiana, after he had gotten the 
money for his bond, and his wife followed shortly from North Carolina 
to make the homecoming complete. On his way home the stage stopped 
in Fair Mount, Indiana, for a few moments. J. P. Winslow wrote Ralph 
Gorrell of the occasion: 

Danil Worth was in our town this week seams in fine spirits he passing 
through on the stage had but little time to talk with him says that he 
has addressed over 75000 people since he left Carolina people seem to 



79 The Times, May 19, 1860, quoting from the New York Herald. 

80 State v. Daniel Worth, 52 N. C. 488 (1860). 

81 D. Worth to "Ever dear Wife," Nantucket, Massachusetts, July 11, 1860, North 
Carolina Collection, Greensboro Public Library, Greensboro. 
^Nicholson, Wesleyan Methodism in the South, 104. 



Daniel Worth 303 

simpathise with him generally think that he was not treated justly but 
much rather he had not come away until it was tried out they think that 
he is not quite the pluck that he represented himself to be 83 

Plucky or not, Worth went back to Indiana as a hero. He returned to 
the Indiana Conference of the Wesleyan Methodist Church although 
he had said he never intended to do so. He was elected Conference 
Missionary in the latter part of 1860 and in 1862 was elected president 
of the Indiana Conference, a post he held for the remainder of his life. 84 

There is some confusion over the date of Daniel Worth's death. His 
tombstone records the date as February 13, 1863. 85 Apparently the 
correct date is December 12, 1862: 

Died, of erysipelas, on the 12 inst., at his residence in Newport, Wayne 
County, Ind., Rev. Daniel Worth, in the 69th year of his age. 86 

Daniel Worth was guilty of breaking a law in North Carolina, and 
for this he was tried and found guilty by his peers. The "due process 
of law" never gave way to mob violence; rather, the people of North 
Carolina chose the law as a means of defense against Daniel Worth. 
The mob, so feared by Worth, probably consisted of curiosity seekers 
much like the one who wrote: 

We go by the Jail evry time we go to church they have got the Rev 
D E Worth in yet we can see them through the window but I dont know 
wich is Old Daniel Worth room. 87 

A most remarkable story concerning the Worth case was told by 
Aaron Worth, forty-four years after the two trials, when he was 
seventy-eight years old. This is undoubtedly the final impression gained 
by Aaron from the reminiscences of Daniel Worth. Writing for a re- 
ligious paper, Aaron told the fantastic story of a bolt of lightning from 
a cloudless sky striking the courthouse during one of the trials. He said 
the lightning "scared those old proslavery lawyers nearly to death, 
and they asked the judge to adjourn court for awhile and see whether 
the world would straighten up all right." Daniel Worth, the story 
goes, told them to go on with the trial because they would hear thun- 
der before long. In Aaron's opinion Daniel's prophecy soon proved 

83 J. P. Winslow to Ralph Gorrell, September 14, 1860, Ralph Gorrell Papers. 

84 Nicholson, Wesleyan Methodism in the South, 105. 

85 Worth's tombstone reads: "Rev. Daniel Worth President of the Ind. Conference 
of the W. M. C. who closed his labours on earth Feb. 13, 1863." 

88 The Indiana True Republican (Centerville), December 25, 1862. 

87 Anna Harrington to "Dear Brother," January 29, 1860, John McLean Harrington 
Papers, Duke University Manuscript Collection. 



304 The North Carolina Historical Review 

correct; in a short time the "guns were thundering at Bull Run, and 
they never ceased their reverberations over the valleys and hills of 
the South until at Appomattox the Rebel chieftain threw down his 
sword and slavery was dead. 



99 88 



88 Aaron Worth, "Pioneers of Indiana Conference," The Wesleyan Methodist, LXXI 
(December 2, 1914), 6. 



SAGA OF A BURKE COUNTY FAMILY 

By Edward W. Phifer* 

CONCLUSION: THE SONS 
William Waightstill Avery 

William Waightstill Avery, the first child 84 of Isaac Thomas and 
Harriet Avery, was born at "Swan Ponds" May 25, 1816— the namesake 
of his two grandfathers, Waightstill Avery and William Willoughby 
Erwin and a favorite grandchild of his grandfather Erwin. No informa- 
tion is available on the means by which he obtained his preparatory 
education, but he undoubtedly attended one of the academy-type 
schools, such as Morganton Academy, that flourished intermittently 
around Morganton during this period. 

When W. W. Avery went to Chapel Hill in 1833, "the State Univer- 
sity was a small college with a classical complexion." Five buildings 
graced the campus, and there were nine teachers on the faculty. There 
were about 8,000 volumes in the University library including those 
volumes in the libraries of the Dialectic and Philanthropic societies. 
Mathematics, Latin, and Greek were the principal subjects taught, 
but the natural sciences, rhetoric and French were also included in the 
curriculum. The Bible was taught each Sunday afternoon. Seniors 
attended class about eleven hours a week and the three lower classes, 
fifteen hours a week. Textbooks were used almost exclusively for in- 
struction. Occasional lectures were delivered in all departments during 
the Junior and Senior years. 85 

At the end of four years at Chapel Hill, W. Waightstill Avery was 
awarded the A. B. degree in 1837, graduated first in a class of nine 
and delivered the valedictory address at the commencement exercises. 86 

* Dr. Phifer is a local historian and medical practitioner in Morganton. 

84 He was one of twins. The other twin lived less than twenty-four hours. 

^Peterson, "W. W. Avery," quoting Kemp P. Battle, History of the University of 
North Carolina from Its Beginning to the Death of President Swain, 1789-1868 (Ra- 
leigh: Edwards and Broughton, 1907), I, 408, 410, 461, hereinafter cited as Battle, 
History of the University. 

80 Peterson, "W. W. Avery," quoting Battle, History of the University, I, 433, 434, 
796, 825. 



306 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Among his classmates in the Class of 1837 were Perrin Busbee, Peter 
W. Hairston, and Pride Jones. 87 

He was back at home in June of that year when his grandfather 
Erwin died, leaving behind him a strange and dramatic deathbed 
scene in which young Avery played a central role. It was a warm night 
and the gentle patriarch lay on his big bed at "Belvidere" in a restless 
coma. As was the custom, his sons, his sons-in-law, his daughters, and 
some of his grandchildren watched and waited. Suddenly, the patient 
seemed to rouse and his namesake, the recent university graduate and 
burgeoning young lawyer, leaned over him, hoping to catch his last 
words. "William IV is dead," the old man whispered ever so softly 
and Waightstill repeated the bewildering words to the others present. 
A few minutes later W. W. Erwin died and his statement was forgotten 
until several weeks later the news arrived that William IV, King of 
England, had died on the same night that this weird and mystical 
incident had occurred at "Belvidere." 8S 

Following his graduation, Avery read law under Judge William 
Gaston, "then considered the greatest lawyer in North Carolina." 89 
He was licensed in 1839 and began to practice in Morganton during 
the same year. His brilliance at the bar soon won him recognition as 
as one of the State's outstanding lawyers. Like his father, he became 
active in politics at an early age and was elected to the legislature from 
Burke County in 1842. 90 He had been in practice only three years and 
was barely twenty-six at the time. 

In 1846, when he was thirty years old, he married Mary Corinna 
Morehead, the daughter of John Motley Morehead, the great Whig 
governor of 1841-1845. This marriage most certainly "did not impair 
his political opportunities." Corinna Morehead was a woman of great 
dignity and charm; and her personal warmth and tact made her ex- 
tremely popular with all ages and classes. A Christian and an active 
member of the Morganton Presbyterian church, presently she was to 
see hours of darkness that would have unhinged a lesser soul. 

Shortly after his marriage, W. W. Avery erected a permanent home 
in Morganton. This was a comfortable, well-built structure of red 
brick surrounded by spacious landscaped grounds. 91 He also built a 

87 Z. V. Walser, "Colonel W. W. Avery," a newspaper clipping, North Carolina Col- 
lection, University of North Carolina Library, dated July 18, 1926, hereinafter cited 
as Walser, "Colonel W. W. Avery." 

88 A. C Avery, History of the Presbyterian Churches, 76-77; Chambers, The Breed 
and the Pasture, 57, 63. 

89 Wooten, "Avery Family." 

90 During this period the Whigs outnumbered the Democrats about two to one in 
Burke County. Avery was elected in spite of the fact that he was a Democrat. 

91 This house, the Hairfield home, is still standing on the northeast corner of 
Patterson and Bouchelle Streets in Morganton. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 307 

summer home at Plumtree, North Carolina, in the nearby Blue Ridge 
Mountains. In 1850 he was again elected to the legislature and in the 
same year he was appointed a trustee of the University of North Caro- 
lina, serving continuously in that capacity until 1864. At the time of 
his election as a trustee, he was asked to deliver the commencement 
address. The title of his address was "Advantages of State Pride" and 
he is said to have spoken quite prophetically on this subject. 92 Like 
his father, he was a Democrat who followed the political creed of John 
C. Calhoun and was an ardent exponent of State Rights and a tariff 
"for revenue only." 

In the autumn of 1851, Avery was involved in a tragic incident which 
almost wrecked his life. The trouble began on Saturday, October 21, 
in the courtroom in Marion, North Carolina, the county seat of the 
recently formed county of McDowell, where Avery appeared that day 
in behalf of a client, Ephraim Greenlee, the guardian for John H. 
Greenlee, and against a politician from Yancey County named Sam 
Fleming. Avery and Fleming had been in the preceding legislature to- 
gether and Avery had appeared against him in court on several 
previous occasions. In addition, Avery's father was a large landowner 
in Yancey County and operated a cattle and stock farm there. If Flem- 
ing bore Waightstill any ill-will, however, it was not common knowl- 
edge at the time. William Waightstill Avery, at thirty-five, was a rather 
small delicately-built man, clean-shaven with large somber eyes and 
a somewhat heavy square jaw. He had suffered with severe bouts of 
rheumatic fever during his boyhood which undoubtedly left him with 
a damaged heart. 93 Otherwise, good fortune had shone upon him 
throughout his entire life and he had ample reason to suspect an even 
brighter future. His manner was pleasant, charming, and graceful 
and consequently he had many friends. Fleming was a big rugged 
mountain man. Blatant and boastful, truculent yet proud, he felt that 
he had made his mark in life by his own efforts and under a great 
handicap and that he was entitled to some recognition. He held claims 
of indebtedness against John Greenlee and had a judgment against 
him but Greenlee's guardian had countered with a restraining order 
prohibiting the collection of the debt by suggesting that the judgment 
was fraudulent. Avery defended his client's position vigorously but his 
language was said to have been less mordant than many other lawyers 
would have used under the circumstances. At any rate, Fleming took 
offense at his remarks— or perhaps used them as an excuse to display 

82 Walser, "Colonel W. W. Avery"; Peterson, "W. W. Avery," 467; C. H. Wiley, The 
North Carolina Reader (New York, 1860), 281-282. 

83 1. T. Avery to Selina L. Lenoir, July 26, August 9, 1832, Lenoir Family Papers. 



308 The North Carolina Historical Review 

a smoldering resentment toward a man who possessed enviable quali- 
ties of deportment and intellect in which he felt himself lacking. His 
antipathy to Avery may well have developed during his stay in Raleigh, 
where a minor slight, whether real or imaginary, could easily have in- 
censed a man of Fleming's type. 

When court adjourned, Avery left the courthouse and strolled about 
the little town. As he approached Whitsun's Store he encountered 
Fleming who was obviously belligerent and dared him to repeat the 
provocative remarks which he had made in court. Avery refused to do 
so, and explained that any remarks which he made in court were made 
as a part of his duty as counsel to Greenlee, that he was not account- 
able to Fleming for his courtroom language and that he had nothing 
further to say to him about the matter. Whereupon Fleming became 
more enraged than ever and challenged Avery to a fist fight but when 
the latter made a conciliatory answer and turned to walk away, Flem- 
ing drew a cowhide whip from under his coat and lashed him with it 
several times in rapid succession. Avery fought back with his fists 
but was no match for Fleming. By the time they had been separated 
he was generally bruised and his face was bleeding. He wandered off 
to the hotel in a daze. A physician, Dr. John S. Erwin, 94 came by, 
treated his wounds, furnished him with a pistol, but proffered no ad- 
vice. His friend, E. P. Jones, was there also and was solicitous but 
circumspect. Distraught, bewildered, and fraught with conflicting emo- 
tions, Avery was unable to decide the proper course to follow. All of 
his life, things had gone well with him but now he was confronted with 
a situation that he could neither meet nor avoid. He was in a horrible 
dilemma, for he surely realized, even then, that under the moral code 
of his day he must destroy either himself or Fleming. After darkness 
had fallen, he left for Morganton. 

During the following week, Avery maintained an outward sem- 
blance of "business as usual," attending court in Caldwell County as 
he had planned, but Morganton seethed with excitement and indigna- 
tion, the community was rife with rumors and some of these un- 
doubtedly reach Fleming. It was whispered about that Avery's father 
had adjured him to kill Fleming, that one of his uncles had counseled 
him likewise, and that his brothers had pressed him to act in a similar 
manner. Word was about that Fleming dared not show his face in 
Morganton. 

On the second Monday in November Superior Court convened in 

94 John Simianer Erwin was the son of Adolphus L. Erwin. He lived at "Pleasant 
Gardens" and was Avery's first cousin. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 309 

Morganton and the first day passed uneventfully. Avery was present 
and went unobtrusively about his affairs. However, early Tuesday 
morning, November 11 Fleming rode into town on horseback. His 
young son rode with him and they were leading several other horses 
which they planned to take to Charleston. He pulled up short in front 
of Dr. John M. Happoldt's "Mountain Hotel," dismounted, tied up 
his horses, and loitered there conversing with the middle-aged physi- 
cian about one thing and another until finally he asked whether Hap- 
poldt had heard any threats made against him. The doctor shook his 
head; he was relatively new in the community, and saw no reason to 
implicate himself in the affair. Fleming went out, unstrapped his sad- 
dlebags, and brought them inside. They contained his revolver and 
when he departed he failed to take it with him, remarking at the time 
that he was not afraid to go wherever his business took him. Through- 
out the morning, he made certain to be seen about the town and in the 
courthouse, issuing a flood of rodomontade wherever he went, de- 
claiming on one occasion that he would not take a thousand dollars 
for the cowhiding he had given Avery. 

After the noonday recess, Judge William Horn Battle took his seat 
on the bench and called the Court to order as usual. He was, at forty- 
nine, an unusually handsome man, well-groomed, cleanshaven, with 
fine regular features and the gentle eyes of a scholar. Heavy creases 
arched about the corners of his mouth. He had been appointed Super- 
ior Court judge a short time before without his knowledge or assent 
and the work was not particularly to his liking. At this moment, Flem- 
ing sauntered into the courtroom, entered the enclosed bar, crossed 
over, and stood at the clerk's desk in front of Avery. The courtroom was 
aghast at his contumely. Nicholas W. Woodfin called to Fleming and 
he sidled over and leaned forward to converse with the Asheville 
lawyer. Nicholas Washington Woodfin, a thin tired man of medium 
height with stiff unruly iron-gray hair and piercing black eyes, was 
a Buncombe County Whig lawyer; he had achieved success, mainly 
through hard work, and had ample reason to feel sympathetic to- 
ward Fleming. 95 Avery sat about five feet away from him and im- 
mediately in front of the judge. He suddenly stood up, took a step or 
two forward, drew a pistol from an inside pocket and fired point blank 
at Fleming. The missile struck him in the right side, traversed his 
heart and emerged near the left nipple. He stood erect, brought his 
hand quickly to his left breast, jerked out his watch as if it were a 

"A. R. Newsome (ed.), "The A. S. Merrimon Journal, 1853-1854," The North Caro- 
lina Historical Review, VIII (July, 1931), 304, hereinafter cited as Newsome, "The 
A. S. Merrimon Journal." 



310 The North Carolina Historical Review 

weapon, spun entirely around, sank down, toppled over on his side, 
and died without uttering a sound. In a last act of utter frustration, 
Avery hurled his pistol at the hated figure of the dying man. 

Judge Battle automatically swung his gavel and with the familiar 
sound came the sickening realization that he had been a reluctant 
witness to the tragic drama. So had the sheriff, Alexander Duckworth, 
the bailiff and the clerk, Joseph D. Ferree, the lawyers within the bar, 
and the audience without. So in fact had the solicitor of the district, 
Colonel Burgess S. Gaither who had married Avery's aunt and lived 
in Morganton. Forty-four years old, tall and Lincolnesque, with a 
large mouth and flashing white teeth, he was noted for his animated 
facial movements and his courtroom histrionics. He stepped quickly 
forward, took Avery by the arm and led him from the chamber. 
Presently, he returned and announced that he could not conduct the 
prosecution for the State. Whereupon Judge Battle appointed John W. 
Woodfin and Tod R. Caldwell as prosecuting attorneys. John W. Wood- 
fin was an affable yet determined man, impulsive, sensitive, intelligent, 
and honorable; his stocky commonplace figure was more at home on 
the farm than at the bar. He lived in Asheville and was a brother of 
Nicholas Woodfin. 96 Tod Caldwell, a Morganton lawyer, and a con- 
temporary of Avery's, was relieved of a painfully unpleasant duty 
when he was retained for the defense together with Nicholas Woodfin 
and John Gray Bynum, a prominent lawyer and Whig politician from 
Rutherfordton. Meanwhile, Avery had given himself over to the proper 
authorities and had been lodged in jail. The following day— a cold, 
rainy Wednesday— he was arraigned, a true bill was found against him, 
and his trial was set for Friday. 

On Thursday the sky was overcast and there was a penetrating 
chill in the air. A cold drizzle fell intermittently and turned the red 
clay of the village streets to slick, tenacious mud. On Friday the 
weather was no better. A pall hung over the town and profound gloom 
pervaded the entire community. Feeling reached a fever pitch and 
a suggestion was made that the trial be moved to another county but 
no one came forward to make the necessary affidavit. 

When the case was called on Friday, the courtroom was jammed. 
Avery's father and older brothers sat with him but his wife had been 
prevailed upon to remain at home. As might be expected, selection 
of a jury was tedious and slow but after this obstacle had been hurdled 

96 Newsome, "The A. S. Merrimon Journal," 308. For full details on the weather 
for the week see the Diary of James Hervey Greenlee, bound typewritten copy, Volume 
II, Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina Library and also in 
the possession of Mr. J. Harvey Greenlee, Bex 168, Morganton. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 311 

events moved rather swiftly. 97 The prosecution based its case on prima- 
facie evidence all too familiar to everyone in court. The defense based 
its major argument on the assertion that "the indignity was ... so well 
calculated to degrade, disgrace and utterly ruin the prisoner that 
preying upon his sensitive mind, it had for the time made him a mad- 
man. . . ." In short, they maintained that he had been temporarily in- 
sane and they produced three witnesses who had had business deal- 
ings with him in the interim and thought him to be mentally ill: Ben- 
jamin Hamilton, John Bur gin, and Robert C. Pearson. "Squire" Pearson, 
a great mountain of a man, was a "wheeler-dealer" in his day and his 
word carried tremendous weight with the jury. On Saturday morning 
John Woodfin made an energetic but just appeal to the jury calling for 
Avery's conviction. Caldwell, Bynum, and Nicholas Woodfin each 
made lengthy impassioned pleas, asking for his acquittal. Then came 
the charge— concise, painstaking, learned, yet esoteric. All this mat- 
tered little, however, for the jurors had long since reached a decision 
in their own minds based on old loyalties, nativistic tendencies, and 
an inherent sense of justice. After ten minutes deliberation, they re- 
ported a verdict of "Not Guilty." 98 Said Judge Battle later: "The ren- 
dering of the verdict was immediately followed by the most deeply 
affecting scene which I have ever witnessed. Not a word was spoken 
but almost every person in the courtroom, in silence and in tears, went 
and shook the prisoner by the hand. 99 W. W. Holden, in an editorial 
published in the Raleigh Standard summarized the opinion of the 
public on the verdict as follows: 

That man who has acted the part of an assassin, by attacking a peace- 
able man without arms, himself being fully armed, creates a reasonable 
ground for supposing that he who had once so acted, will renew his 
dastardly attack the first chance that presents itself. It is more dangerous 
to society for the law to give protection to such characters, then to author- 
ize and excuse those who must otherwise submit to irreparable injury, or 
defend themselves at every hazard, and whatever these political maligners 



97 Jurors were: William Conly, S. W. Melton, Joseph L. Collins, Peter J. Walker, 
Abram Franklin, Richard V. Michaux, James Estes, Philip Warlick, Philip Whisen- 
hunt, William R. Aiken, Jacob Seagle, Stephen Winters. Minutes of Burke County 
Superior Court, 1830-1854, September Term, 1851, State Department of Archives and 
History. 

98 North Carolina Star (Raleigh), November 26, 1851, quoting Asheville Messenger; 
R. C. Pearson to Thomas Ruffin, November 14, 1851, J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton (ed.), 
The Papers of Thomas Ruffin (Raleigh: The North Carolina Historical Commission 
[State Department of Archives and History], 4 volumes, 1918-1920), II, 317. 

"William H. Battle, Rutherfordton, to Lucy M. Battle, November 17, 1851, Battle 
Family Papers, Southern Historical Collection. 



312 The North Carolina Historical Review 

may say, the voice of the public has already pronounced its approval of 
the verdict rendered by the jury. 100 

The effects of this incident on Avery's professional reputation were 
minimal and he continued to enjoy the respect and confidence of the 
large majority of the population. In 1852 he was again elected to the 
legislature from Burke County— an early indication that his political 
potentialities were unimpaired. However, the effect on his psychic and 
emotional make-up was profound. For long afterwards he brooded, 
seemed preoccupied; he suffered from insomnia and was frequently 
seen out walking the streets late at night. Undoubtedly destiny had 
played a trick upon him from which his proud and sensitive soul could 
not recover. 

In 1856 he was elected to the State Senate and was chosen as the 
Speaker of that body and in that year, as well as in 1860, he was chosen 
chairman of the North Carolina delegation to the Democratic Na- 
tional Convention. He was a candidate for Congress in 1858 on the 
Democratic ticket but was defeated by that great Whig vote-getter, 
Zebulon Baird Vance. During the campaign, Thomas L. Clingman 
attended one of the debates and someone asked his opinion about the 
speeches. "He replied that Avery made a fine argument, but Vance 
made the crowd laugh with his anecdotes. 101 

The succession of offices to which Avery was elected indicates his 
influence, good reputation, and popularity. The following appeared 
in the Raleigh Standard in 1856: 

Mr. Avery comes from the western portion of the state, where for several 
years he sustained the banner of Democracy and defended its cause against 
an overwhelming majority of the people and the whole bar of the moun- 
tain circuit — Mr. Avery enjoys much personal popularity, having been 
repeatedly elected to the house of commons in his own county, giving a 
large anti-Democratic majority. 102 

One reason for his political and legal eminence was his skill as a 
public speaker. Newspapers praised his speeches with one accord. 
Together with his brothers, Moulton and Isaac, he was active in or- 
ganizing the Western North Carolina Railroad Company and was 

wo Guion G. Johnson, Ante-Bellum North Carolina (Chapel Hill: The University 
of North Carolina Press, 1937), 47, quoting North Carolina Standard (Raleigh), 
December 17, 1851. This newspaper title varies, but will hereinafter be cited as 
North Carolina Standard. 

101 Wooten, "Avery Family." 

102 Peterson, "W. W. Avery," 468, quoting North Carolina Standard, November 26, 
1856. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 313 

elected a director in 1857. 103 In 1860 he was again elected to the State 
Senate but refused the nomination for Speaker and supported his 
friend, Henry T. Clark, for this office. 104 

Without a doubt, his greatest influence upon the course of history 
resulted from the part that he played in the Democratic Convention 
of 1860. At that time there were two factions in the party. Simply 
stated, the question that produced the schism was this: Did a slave- 
owner have the right to move into a territory, take his slaves with him, 
and still maintain ownership of his slaves? The Dred Scott decision 
held, in essence, that the slaves were property and that the answer 
to the above question was in the affirmative. This view was supported 
by most of the southern Democrats. The Kansas-Nebraska Bill of 1854, 
sponsored by Stephen A. Douglas, begged the question by allowing 
each territorial legislature the right to decide whether that particular 
territory be slave or free. This Bill was recognized by the southerners 
as a threat to the right to carry slaves into the territories. 

The Convention first met in Charleston, South Carolina, in April. 
William Waightstill Avery was placed on the resolutions and platform 
committee and was elected chairman. The majority report of the 
committee upheld the southern viewpoint and Avery presented it to 
the floor on two occasions. Both times he spoke to the Convention, 
defending this position in a logical manner. After lengthy debate, 
the minority report was voted into the platform with the southerners 
dissenting. Immediately after the vote, the delegations of six southern 
States and parts of other southern delegations walked out but the 
North Carolina delegation remained and took part in the prolonged 
balloting which finally ended in adjournment when Douglas failed to 
muster the required two-thirds majority. When the Convention re- 
convened in Baltimore in June, Avery again spoke, this time against 
the attempt to unseat the dissenting delegations from the South who 
had walked out at Charleston but were now willing to return. How- 
ever, his protest went unheeded and all, save three, of the North Caro- 
lina Delegation withdrew from this convention and joined the "dissen- 
ters" convention in nearby Institute Hall where Avery again served 
on the Resolutions Committee. This convention nominated John C. 
Breckinridge of Kentucky and the "Northern" Convention nominated 
Douglas. Thereby occurred the split which resulted in the election of 
the Republican candidate, Abraham Lincoln. With Lincoln's victory, 

103 Proceedings of the General Meetings of Stockholders of the Western North 
Carolina Railroad Company, 1855, 1856, 1857, 1860, passim, hereinafter cited as 
Proceedings of Western North Carolina Railroad. A bound copy of the proceedings of 
these meetings is in the possession of Mr. C. V. Walton, Morganton. 

104 Walser, "Colonel W. W. Avery." 



314 The North Carolina Historical Review 



Avery became an avowed Secessionist. "Thus the political metamor- 
phosis of another southern leader was completed." 105 

When North Carolina seceded, Avery was chosen a member of the 
Confederate Provisional Congress where he served from July 20, 
1861, until February 17, 1862. In that body he was made chairman 
of its most important committee— that of Military Affairs, where he 
earnestly and actively supported the policies of President Jefferson 
Davis. In the subsequent North Carolina legislature, a majority of 
the Democrats supported Avery for re-election but a stalemate de- 
veloped between the Burke County man and Thomas L. Clingman of 
Buncombe, resulting in the election of a compromise candidate. 106 In 
1864 he was designated by Jefferson Davis to raise a regiment in 
North Carolina and to serve as its commanding officer, but was finally 
reconciled to remain at home when prevailed upon to do so by his 
aged father and four brothers. 

In June of that year, Colonel George W. Kirk, the notorious Federal 
commander who had collected a regiment of Union sympathizers, 
Cherokee Indians, and Confederate deserters from the western North 
Carolina and East Tennessee mountains, launched a daring raid from 
Morristown, Tennessee, into western North Carolina. The objective of 
the raid was to destroy the railroad bridge across the Yadkin River. 
Early in the morning on the 28, they reached the terminus of the 
Western North Carolina Railroad about three miles east of Morganton 
where they surprised and captured several hundred Junior Reserves 
who were in training there. After carrying out sabotage at the rail- 
head and looting the countryside, they decided to return to Tennessee. 
The local militia, consisting of several hundred older men and boys, 
pursued them in the hope that they might free the conscripts. Kirk 
made a brief stand at Beck's Farm near Brown Mountain about four- 
teen miles from Morganton, then went up the Winding Stairs Road, 
and camped for the night about two miles from Lovens Cold Springs 
Tavern, a point about twenty-one miles from Morganton. On the next 
morning advance files of the militia made contact with Kirk's men be- 
fore their main body had come up. W. W. Avery and several other 
members of the militia were in front and in the exchange of fire that 
ensued, Avery was seriously wounded. 107 He was taken back home 
to Morganton and died of his wounds on July 3, 1864. 108 He was only 

105 Peterson, "W. W. Avery," 477. 

loe Walser, "Colonel W. W. Avery." 

107 Arthur, Western North Carolina, 605-608. 

709 W. W. Avery is buried in the Presbyterian Churchyard at Morganton. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 315 

forty-eight years of age. Even so, he lived longer than any of his 
brothers, save one. 

His was no warring spirit; kind, affable, unselfish, and a scholar, his 
talents lay in gentler, quieter fields where man's efforts are more en- 
during. 




"Magnolia" is located at the intersection of Interstate 40 and Highway 
64, southwest of Morganton. The oldest part of the house was built by- 
John H. Stevelie and expanded to its present size by Clarke Moulton 
Avery. It now belongs to Mr. H. L. Wilson, Jr., and the children of H. L. 
Riddle, Sr., and is the home of Mr. Henry L. Browning, III, and his family. 



Clarke Moulton Avery 

Clarke Moulton Avery was the second child born to Isaac Thomas 
and Harriet Erwin Avery. 109 His date of birth is recorded as October 3, 
1819. He grew up a strapping fellow with more interest in farming 
and other plantation activities than in his studies. Nevertheless, he 
made satisfactory progress with his preliminary schooling and entered 
the University only two years after his brother Waightstill had entered 
the same institution. 110 In 1839 he graduated, being awarded the 
Bachelor of Arts degree. He did not pursue professional studies, but 
returned home with the intention of becoming a planter. 

109 He was the second child who reached adult life ; actually, he was the fourth child 
born to his parents. 

110 Wooten, "Avery Family." 



316 The North Carolina Historical Review 

On June 23, 1841, he married Elizabeth Tilghman Walton. His 
bride was a daughter of Thomas and Martha McEntire Walton, who 
had migrated to Morganton shortly before the turn of the century. 111 
Thomas Walton was a merchant and trader and apparently had been 
financially successful, for he soon purchased considerable real estate 
in and around Morganton. 

All in all, the newly married couple seemed to be in no dire dis- 
tress for want of financial aid. In 1847 from his father-in-law, Avery 
acquired 915 acres of farmland and a brick house several miles south- 
west of the town. 112 The house was enlarged to more than twice its 
original size, and a stately porch was added. This place was called 
"Magnolia" because of the beautiful trees in the yard. For the next 
twenty years, Moulton Avery occupied himself with the peaceful and 
pleasant, though not necessarily profitable, pursuits of a slaveholding 
planter. During this period, nothing extraordinary happened to him 
or his family. His children were born, and he tilled the none-too-fertile 
land with slave labor. 113 Although he took an active part in local poli- 
tics, he did not seek public office. 114 Inured to this life, as were others 
of his class, he reacted vigorously when the institution of slavery 
came under attack. Impetuous by nature, he became a fiery Secession- 
ist and soon was willing to maintain the righteousness of his convic- 
tions by force, if necessary. 

On April 12, 1861, hostilities began in Charleston harbor and on 
April 15 Lincoln issued "his proclamation for coercion" calling on all 
States to furnish troops to fight to preserve the Union. For North Caro- 
lina this was the "last straw." On April 17 Governor John W. Ellis is- 
sued his rejoinder, calling the General Assembly in special session on 
May 1. On the same date, April 17, the companies of the first regiment 

m A. C. Avery, History of the Presbyterian Churches, 89. 

132 Will of Thomas Walton, William Carson Ervin Papers, Southern Historical Collec- 
tion; H. L. Riddle, Jr., to Edward W. Phifer, September 12, 1957. 

lu In 1850 his farm was valued at $5,000; acreage was listed as 80 (improved) and 
920 (unimproved) ; farm implements were valued at $200. He owned 11 horses, 4 mules, 
16 milk cows, 4 work oxen, 35 cattle, 25 sheep, and 70 swine. Livestock was valued at 
$2,000. That year his farm produced 1,700 bushels of corn, 500 bushels of oats, 100 
bushels of wheat. Census of 1850, Schedule IV, Agriculture. In 1860 he owned 37 
slaves. Census of 1860, Schedule II, Slave Inhabitants. In 1860 he owned real estate 
valued at $15,000 and personal property valued at $29,000. Census of 1860, Schedule I, 
Free Inhabitants. In 1860 he owned 460 improved acres and 1,850 unimproved acres; 
farm implements were valued at $500. He owned 11 horses, 1 mule, 16 milk cows, 
3 work oxen, 15 other cattle, and 75 swine. Livestock was valued at $2,000. That year 
his farm produced 2,900 bushels of corn, 200 bushels of oats, 335 bushels of wheat, 200 
bushels of Irish potatoes, 60 bushels of peas and beans, 250 pounds of butter, and 10 
tons of hay. Census of 1860, Schedule IV, Agriculture. 

114 He was elected to Burke County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions in 1845, to 
the Council of State in 1856, as a Secessionist delegate to the State convention in 
March, 1861, and President of the State Democratic Convention at Charlotte in 
1858; and he was active in the formation of the "Western North Carolina Railroad 
Company. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 317 

of North Carolina troops volunteered and by May 16 had been formed 
into a regiment at the State capital by orders from the Adjutant Gen- 
eral's office. They called themselves the First North Carolina Volun- 
teers and they signed up to serve six months, which evidently they 
felt would be ample time to end any hostilities that might occur. 
Company G— the Burke Rifles—was one of the ten companies of this 
gay regiment and Captain Moulton Avery was its company com- 
mander. 115 The field officers of the regiment were the three ranking 
officers of the North Carolina Military Institute at Charlotte with 
Colonel Daniel Harvey Hill as the regimental commander. By May 21 
the entire regiment had reached Richmond, camped there for 
several days receiving the plaudits of the local press, and on May 24 
moved by rail and steamboat to Yorktown on the Peninsula between 
the York and the James rivers. This was exactly four days after the 
State of North Carolina seceded from the Union and ratified the 
Provisional Constitution of the Confederate States of America. 116 

The Union high command had been concentrating its forces at 
Fortress Monroe and in early June began to move up the Peninsula 
with a force of about 4,400 men. On June 10 Colonel Hill's troops with 
several Virginia companies were attacked by this force at Big Bethel 
Church, a point about thirteen miles below Yorktown where Hill 
had taken up defensive positions. In this small battle, the Federal 
forces were defeated and driven from the field within a few hours. In 
this brief engagement "Company G, Captain Avery, was thrown 
beyond the stream to the right of the road, near an old milldam, where 
they took part in the repulse of the enemies first advance on our right. 
Subsequently, they were moved forward to the support of the howitzer 
which had replaced the spiked and abandoned one." 117 Wrote D. H. 
Hill in his official report: "Captain Avery, Co. G. displayed great cool- 
ness, judgment, and efficiency at Battle of Bethel." 118 

This, the "Battle of Big Bethel," represented the only contact with 
the enemy experienced by this organization of enthusiastic young men 
during their stay on the Virginia Peninsula. However, Big Bethel was 
the first land battle of the war and this regiment has been referred to 
since that time as "The Bethel Regiment." While they were still at 
Yorktown, an order was received from the Adjutant General of North 

118 Other officers of this company were Calvin S. Brown, John A. Dickson, and 
James C. S. McDowell. 

118 Walter Clark (ed.), Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from 
North Carolina in the Great War, 1861-65 (Raleigh and Goldsboro: State of North 
Carolina, 5 volumes, 1901), I, 71-74, hereinafter cited as Clark, Histories of the North 
Carolina Regiments. 

*" Clark, Histories of the North Carolina Regiments, I, 90-91. 

338 Semi-Weekly Raleigh Register, June 26, 1861. 



318 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Carolina changing their designated number from the First to the Nine- 
teenth Regiment. Whereupon a meeting was held of the Officers of the 
Regiment, at which time resolutions were adopted opposing this 
change in a most vehement manner. Captain Avery was the chairman 
of this meeting and as chairman, his name appears on the Resolves. 119 
On November 12, 1861, the regiment was mustered out of service in 
Richmond and returned to North Carolina on the following day. The 
Bethel Regiment has been called a "training school for officers" as 
it surely proved itself to be in the great battles that followed. 

On returning to North Carolina after the Bethel Regiment dis- 
banded, Captain Avery was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 
Thirty-Third Regiment of North Carolina State Troops which was 
in the process of organization and training at the old Fairgrounds in 
Raleigh and later at Camp Mangum. During the organizational period 
in the latter part of 1861, Colonel L. OB. Branch, the commander of 
the Thirty-Third, was made brigade commander and Avery was pro- 
moted to colonel, 120 his date of rank being January 17, 1862. He thus 
became, and continued to be until his death, the highest ranking 
officer in the Confederate Army from Burke County. 

Like the First Regiment through the Tenth Regiment, the Thirty- 
Third was a "war regiment." Its officers were appointed by the Gover- 
nor and its troops were selected entirely from those volunteers who 
had signed up for three years or the duration of the war. 121 Therefore, 
its efficiency was not impaired by the periodic elections prescribed in 
the conscription acts of April, 1862, which proved to be detrimental 
to the organization and function of many regiments of the Confederate 
Army during this period. 

As soon as Colonel Avery took command he instituted a rigorous 
training program. "How well he did this, the brilliant record made by 
this veteran band for four years of its bloody history, bears most true 
and honorable testimony." 122 In February, 1862, the regiment was 
ordered to New Bern and on March 14, it was a part of an inadequate 
force which attempted to thwart a well-conceived amphibious opera- 
tion by General Ambrose E. Burnside directed against the Town of 
New Bern. Says the historian of the Thirty-Third concerning the regi- 
ment at the beginning of the battle: "We had spent a rather uncom- 

339 Clark, Histories of the North Carolina Regiments, I, 129-130. 

"•James H. Foote, "Colonel C. M. Avery, Sketch of the Life of This Brave Soldier 
and Gallant Officer," a clipping from a newspaper dated April 4, 1895, North Carolina 
Collection, University of North Carolina Library, hereinafter cited as Poote, "Colonel 
C M. Avery." 

381 Clark, Histories of the North Carolina Regiments, I, 6. 

** Foote, "Colonel C. M. Avery." 



Saga of a Burke County Family 319 

fortable night, as it began to rain about dark and continued to rain 
slowly all night. Still there were no complaints, no murmurings. Every- 
one seemed to be anxious to do his duty to his country and to his 
God. Colonel Avery made a short talk to his regiment, full of fire 
and patriotism, to which the men responded with the utmost hearti- 
ness and enthusiasm." Soon after the Federal forces attacked, a pene- 
tration was made in the Confederate lines which forced a general 
withdrawal. However, no orders to withdraw reached the Thirty- 
Third and Twenty-Sixth North Carolina Regiments. They made a 
valiant stand but after several hours were surrounded and overrun. 
In the confusion, Colonel Avery and sizable elements of his command 
were captured. Says the historian of the Twenty-Sixth: "Colonel Avery 
was everywhere along the trenches animating the men by his pres- 
ence/' Colonel Clark of the Twenty-First Massachusetts Regiment in 
his official report stated: "These two regiments (the Thirty-Third and 
Twenty-Sixth) were the best armed, and fought the most valiantly of 
any of the enemy's forces. They kept up an incessant fire for three 
hours until their ammunition was exhausted, and the remainder of the 
rebel forces had retreated." 123 However, commendations and accolades 
would have brought little consolation to this captured Confederate 
colonel even had he been where he could have heard them. 

He was transported to Old Fort Columbus on Governor's Island, 
New York, and was moved to Johnson's Island during the summer of 
1862. This small island, used during the Civil War as a prison for 
officers, is in Lake Erie about two and one-half miles from Sandusky, 
Ohio. The prisoners were confined in a stockade measuring about 
200 by 300 yards and containing thirteen two-story wooden buildings 
where the inmates were housed. The climate was very severe in winter, 
hygienic conditions poor, but the food was sufficient to prevent starva- 
tion. Overcrowding was perhaps its worst feature, there usually being 
about 2,500 prisoners in this small enclosure with as many as fifty to 
sixty men housed in a room thirty feet square. 124 During Colonel 
Avery's imprisonment there, an incident occurred which sheds con- 
siderable light as to his personality. A prisoner had been brutally 
murdered by a sentinel and the inmates were highly incensed over the 

133 Clark, Histories of the North Carolina Regiments, II, 308-321, 541-545. For further 
remarks on Colonel Avery at New Bern, see R. N. Scott and Others (eds.), The War 
of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate 
Armies (Washington, D. C.:. Government Printing Office, 70 volumes [127 books, 
atlases, and index], 1880-1901), Series I, IX, 246, General Branch's Report. See also, 
Lt. Col. Hoke's Report, Series I, IX, 260. This reference will hereinafter be cited as 
Official Records. 

124 Clark, Histories of the North Carolina Regiments, IV, 657-712. 



320 The North Carolina Historical Review 

occurrence. A revolt had been planned against the prison garrison 
and Colonel Avery was ready and willing to lead it but he was dis- 
suaded by a fellow officer with less daring and more discretion. Said 
this wise officer and friend: "There could have been but one ending, 
for we were without a single weapon of any kind, located on an island 
three miles from shore, commanded by artillery from block houses at 
the corners of the stockade, by a sufficient force of Yankee infantry 
and by an armed vessel on the lake." 125 

After seven months imprisonment Colonel Avery's release was ef- 
fected through the process of exchange— at this time a policy adhered 
to by common consent of the two governments, but later discontinued 
by the Union when they realized that it was one of the factors respon- 
sible for prolongation of the war. He returned to active duty in the 
late fall of 1862 and took part in the Battle of Fredericksburg, in 
December— where his regiment played a vital role in closing the gap 
between the troops of Lane 126 and Archer when, early in the day, 
Burnside dashed his Union brigades against the Confederate right. 
Wrote Major General A. P. Hill in his report: "The three remaining 
regiments of Lane's brigade (seventh, eighth, and thirty-third N. C.) 
steadily continued to battle against overwhelming numbers, and the 
attack was checked by well directed volleys from the thirty-third Regi- 
ment, Colonel (Clark M.) Avery." 127 

Avery's health had been shattered by his imprisonment, however, 
and he was unable to tolerate the rigors of the Virginia winter. The 
medical board found him so malnourished and debilitated that they 
advised him to leave his command until he could recover his vitality. 
This he did for a few weeks and probably went home to "Magnolia." 
But ambition and a sense of duty drove him back to camp before he 
was fit and again he began to prepare his regiment for the campaigns 
that were sure to come with spring. "Those who witnessed his thorough 
police and inspections of arms, the drills and dress parades of his 
command at 'Moss Neck' will long remember the neatness of his camp 
and the soldierly bearing of his men." 128 On such an occasion General 
Dorsey Pender, Lee's great field commander, allegedly remarked: "If 

188 Frank S. Roberts, "An Echo of Johnson's Island," a newspaper clipping from a 
Raleigh paper dated October 1, 1922, North Carolina Collection, University of North 
Carolina Library. 

^Following the death of Brigadier General Branch at Sharpsburg, this brigade 
(of which the Thirty-Third was a part) was commanded by Brigadier General James 
H. Lane and was thereafter called Lane's Brigade. It was a part of A. P. Hill's 
Division, Jackson's Corp, until Chancellorsville when it was in Heth's Division. 
After Chancellorsville it was in Pender's Division, A. P. Hill's Corp; after Pender's 
death at Gettysburg, Cadmus Wilcox became division commander. 

""Official Records, Series I, XXI, Part I, 646. 

"■ Foote, "Colonel C M. Avery." 



Saga of a Burke County Family 321 

all the Colonels were Averys, our army would indeed be invincible." 129 
And so the winter passed, but with spring, General Lee was on the 
move again. He found the Union forces in a thickly wooded country 
south of the Rappahannock, eagerly fortifying around a road junction 
called Chancellors ville. Using his accustomed finesse, he swung Jack- 
son's entire corp in a giant flanking movement around the right of the 
unsuspecting Federals executing that maneuver which was to bring 
everlasting fame to "Old Blue Light." Amidst this orderly throng was 
the Thirty-Third North Carolina Regiment, Lane's Brigade, Hill's 
Division, and with like elements of the famous Light Division it 
stormed up the Orange Plank Road toward the rising sun on that 
beautiful Sabbath morning, May 3, 1863. In this charge, Colonel Avery 
incurred his first disabling wound of the war and was robbed of the 
deep satisfaction that comes to troops with victory. 130 But when Jim 
Lane's Brigade swung into the dusty road and started north with the 
rest, in June of that same year, Colonel CM. Avery was back with the 
Thirty-Third. This campaign reached its zenith at Gettysburg, Pennsyl- 
vania. In this great three-day battle, Lane's Brigade was a part of 
that avalanche of Pender's that drove the Union Army from Seminary 
Ridge on the First Day. On the Third Day, placed temporarily with 
Scale's Brigade under General Isaac Ridgeway Trimble, they collabo- 
rated with the Divisions of Pettigrew and Pickett against Cemetery 
Ridge in that valiant charge that for some inexplicable reason, now 
bears General Pickett's name. General Lane's description of this charge 
vividly describes the part played by his brigade which follows, in 
part: 

My brigade was now the extreme left of the attacking force, and the 
Thirty-Third Regiment was on the left of the brigade. I never saw, even 
in drill, a more beautiful line than my brigade kept as it advanced under 
that murderous fire. The field was open — no troops in front of us, and it 
was our yell, as we joined the front line that caused General Trimble to 
make that remark, "I believe those fine fellows are going into the enemy's 
lines." The men reserved their fire in accordance with orders, until within 
good range of the enemy, and then opened with telling effect, repeatedly 
driving the cannoneers from their pieces, completely silencing the guns in 
our front and breaking the line of infantry which was formed on the 
crest of the hill. We advanced to within a few yards of the stone wall. 
Some of my right had gone over the fence, yelling furiously. My left, 
under Colonel Avery, was here very much exposed and a column of in- 
fantry was thrown forward by the enemy in that direction which infiladed 
my whole line. When I ordered Colonel Avery, in obedience to instructions 



w Foote, "Colonel C. M. Avery." 

190 Official Records, Series I, XXV, Part I, 918, 922. 



322 The North Carolina Historical Review 

from General Longstreet, to face to the left for the purpose of meeting the 
flanking column of the enemy, he replied: "My God, General, do you 
intend rushing your troops into such a place unsupported, when the whole 
right has given way?" I looked to the right and saw that it was as he 
stated ; no line of battle was anywhere visible on the right. Colonel Avery 
had already reached the fence and his men were firing and cheering. My 
brigade, I know, was the last to leave the field, and it did so by my order. 131 



Colonel Avery was again wounded at Gettysburg but did not leave 
his regiment during the long heartbreaking retreat back to Virginia. 132 
During the fall and winter of 1863-1864, the regiment was lightly en- 
gaged at Bristoe Station, Mine Run, and elsewhere but, in the main, 
they fought cold weather, scant rations, and boredom. Old grievances 
were aired and petty jealousies were exaggerated. Bickering was com- 
mon with clique plotting against clique. Colonel Avery, for reasons 
entirely fortuitous, had not advanced in rank in almost two years. His 
friends thinking that he had earned a promotion long ago, asked the 
War Department to form a new North Carolina brigade for him by 
detaching regiments from Davis', Stuart's, and Lane's brigades. How- 
ever, Lane squelched the scheme by writing to Lee's Headquarters 
specifically asking that the Thirty-Third Regiment not be removed 
from his command. 133 During this period many leaves-of-absence and 
furloughs were granted and Colonel Avery himself was at home with 
his wife and family for the last time. 

May 5 of that year, 1864, found the corps of A. P. Hill marching 
eastward on the Orange Plank Road again with Ewell's Corp march- 
ing in the same direction along the Orange Turnpike, about two miles 
to the north. Their march was intercepted by large elements of Grant's 
army marching generally south. A furious see-saw battle developed be- 
tween Hills' Corp on the Plank Road and Union forces under General 
Winfield Scott Hancock on a road perpendicular to the Plank Road, 
called the Brock Road. Lane's Brigade, now in Wilcox's division, went 
into action about five o'clock in the afternoon and at first drove the 
Federals on their front but when darkness fell, they were on the edge 
of disaster because they were greatly outnumbered. A. P. Hill, the 
Confederate corps commander, was sick and no effort was made to 
disentangle these troops and establish a new line behind more ade- 
quate defenses. Consequently, the two opposing forces faced each 

131 Clark, Histories of the North Carolina Regiments, II, 559-567. 

182 Official Records, Series I, XXVII, Part II, 668. Avery commanded Lane's Brigade 
during the retreat from Gettysburg. Official Records, Series I, XXVII, Part II, 667. 

133 Official Records, Series I, XXIX, Part II, 868. See also, Governor Z. B. Vance to 
Secretary of War James A. Seddon, September 21, 1863, requesting promotion of 
Avery to Brigadier General and the formation of a district in western North Carolina 
under his command. Official Records, Series I, XXIX, Part II, 740. 






Saga of a Burke County Family 323 

other in pell-mell disorganized fashion throughout a horrible night in 
this wilderness thicket where the woods smoked and burned and the 
wounded lay unattended. At five o'clock in the morning the outnum- 
bered Confederate forces were vigorously attacked. Colonel Avery's 
regiment lay in an exposed position when the attack began. They 
formed a line of battle as quickly as possible behind hastily improvised 
breastworks of logs and dirt. In a few minutes the enemy was upon 
them in overwhelming numbers. Colonel Avery walked up and down 
in front of the breastworks encouraging his men by word and act. 
When urged to get down behind the breastworks, he shook his head. 
"No, No," he said, "it will make the men fight better." His forces stood 
their ground for a short time and then the Yankee flood was upon them. 
A bullet struck the weary Burke County Colonel in the right thigh and 
he went down. 134 When two of his officers, Lieutenant John G. Rencher 
and Lieutenant John D. Fain, attempted to remove him from the 
field on a litter, they both were shot down. Lying thus, trying des- 
perately to fend for himself, he was hit again in the body and neck; his 
left arm was shattered by a Minie ball. In this condition, Colonel 
Avery finally reached the division field hospital where his friends 
gathered around him— and the surgeons worked over him. His shat- 
tered arm was amputated and amputation of his leg was thought to be 
desirable. 185 However, this was not done and he was moved to Orange 
Court House where he was nursed by the ladies of that community. 136 
During these trying times, his wife gave birth to a daughter and a story 
persists that she named this child for one of the Virginia ladies who 
nursed her husband so faithfully. Wound sepsis developed in his leg 
wound, however, and gradually became so profound that he suc- 
cumbed to it on June 18, 1864, about six weeks after he was wounded 
in the Wilderness on May 6, 1864, and fifteen days before the death 
of his brother Waightstill. He was in his forty-fifth year. He was ini- 
tially buried in Orange County, Virginia, but afterwards, Elizabeth 
Avery moved his body to the Presbyterian Churchyard at Morganton. 
Moulton Avery was primarily a soldier and his capabilities in this 
realm far outshown his competence as farmer, politician, or student. 
Rugged and fearless and with an unconquerable spirit, doubtless he 
would have performed even more brilliantly in war had he possessed 
a military education and a greater desire for self preservation. 

184 Clark, Histories of the North Carolina Regiments, II, 569-570. 

135 One source says his leg was not amputated because he was in shock ; a second 
says he refused leg amputation, stating that he would rather die than be so maimed. 
The first story seems more likely. 

^Foote, "Colonel C. M. Avery." 






324 The North Carolina Historical Review 



Says the regimental historian: "He was a brave and faithful officer, 
a true friend, and the knightliest of men. 



1S7 



Thomas Lenoir Avery 

For Isaac Thomas Avery, March 16, 1821, was a day of violently 
conflicting emotions, commingling joy with sorrow and articulating the 
vivid past with the undeterminable future; for following the death of 
his father, a male child had blessed this grief-stricken family. 138 As an 
only son, Isaac Avery's relations with his father had been extremely 
close, their interests had been similar and their respect and affection 
for each other unbounded; his father's early affliction, his lingering 
illness, his gentle ruminative nature, his overweening pride, his senten- 
tious mode of speech, and his progressively increasing dependence had 
forged an irrefragable bond between the two. 139 Isaac's sorrow was pro- 
found yet the new baby was a lusty, healthy child whose advent as- 
suaged the father's grief and blended it with paternal love. The infant 
was named for Thomas Lenoir of Fort Defiance, Happy Valley, who 
had married the child's aunt, Selina Louisa. Thomas Lenoir Avery 
grew up at "Swan Ponds" and with his brothers pored over his studies, 
worked in the fields, or prowled the hills and streams for fish and game. 
He was definitely the rugged outdoor type with a penchant for ad- 
venture and at the University of North Carolina, where he graduated 
in 1841, 140 he was said to be "the most attractive and popular student" 
at the school. 141 After leaving college he interested himself in gold 
mining— a pursuit which was purported to have a particularly bright 
future in western North Carolina at this time. During his boyhood he 
had observed his father's gold mining operations in Rutherford County 
and had shared his enthusiasm in these ventures. As early as 1830, 
Isaac Avery had realized that placer or "deposite" mining alone would 
not produce a stable, profitable industry and he had confined his 
efforts to "vein" or quartz mining which required more capital, labor 

137 Clark, Histories of the North Carolina Regiments, II, 570. 

188 The child was born about three o'clock in the afternoon of March 16, just as his 
grandfather's funeral service began. I. T. Avery to Thomas Lenoir, March 29, 1821, 
Lenoir Family Papers. 

139 Avery, "The Place That Lured Waightstill," including a copy of a letter from 
Isaac Thomas Avery to Thomas Lenoir, March 29, 1821. 

140 Daniel Lindsay Grant (Executive Secretary), Alumni History of the University 
of North Carolina (Durham: General Alumni Association [Second edition], 1924), 
25, hereinafter cited as Alumni History. 

ia George Phifer Erwin, a manuscript compiled in 1900 concerning the Avery family 
and now in possession of his daughter, Adelaide Erwin White, of Morganton, here- 
inafter cited as George Phifer Erwin Manuscript. His mother referred to him as 
"the handsomest of all her children," I. T. Avery to Thomas Lenoir, July 23, 1821, 
Lenoir Family Papers. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 325 

and equipment but was certainly a wiser venture. 142 In "deposite" min- 
ing the sandbars and river beds were sifted for the precious metal; in 
"vein" mining the quartz was dug out of the hills and pulverized before 
it could go through the sifting process. 

Thomas Lenoir Avery worked various claims, particularly in Ran- 
dolph County, and apparently with some degree of success. However, 
success or no success, when James W. Marshall discovered gold while 
building a sawmill on the American River in Northern California for 
Captain John Augustus Sutter in 1848, Avery turned his eyes to the 
West. Month after month, optimistic reports continued to drift east 
from Sutter's principality. Finally in 1851, in conjunction with his 
bachelor uncle, Alexander Hamilton Erwin, Avery organized a party 
and departed for California with slaves included in the group. Whether 
this company traveled across the continent by land or whether they 
went "around the Horn" or "across Panama" is not known. The evi- 
dence is in favor of the transcontinental land route with the combined 
boat to land to boat trip across Panama as the second most likely route. 
Large parties with equipment seldom went "around the Horn," par- 
ticularly after 1849 or 1850. 

They swam the wide rivers and crossed the tall peaks, 
And camped on the prairie for weeks upon weeks. 
Starvation and cholera and hard work and slaughter, 
They reached California spite of hell and high water. 143 

Avery's little band arrived in California when the Rush was at its 
zenith. Since he himself was an experienced gold miner and was ac- 
compained by others accustomed to doing this type of work and since 
his expedition was well organized and well equipped, one might 
presume that they would be more likely to succeed than the random 
adventurer who came to search for gold. Many unforeseen complica- 
tions, however, harassed them ineluctably. Living conditions in the 
fields were abominable; the mountains were dank and bosky and the 
mountain streams were cold; food prices were exorbitant and fresh 
foods were unobtainable; crude shanties or tents provided the only 
shelter; rogues and vagrants abounded and choice claims had been 
worked over by argonauts who had come earlier. They were a deter- 
mined crew, however, and they prospected through two summers on 
the western slopes of the Sierra Nevadas east of Marysville where the 

14a I. T. Avery to S. P. Carson, April 3, 1830, Report No. 39, 23, Twenty-second 
Congress, First Session. 

143 These lines, handed down in ballad form, commemorate those who made the 
difficult journey to California. 



326 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Yuba and the Feather and the American rivers surge down into the 
Sacramento. On an early fall day in 1852 Avery became ill with per- 
sistent vomiting and diarrhea and it was obvious within a few hours 
that he had been stricken by the most dread disease of the Gold Rush 
—Asiatic cholera or "cholery," as it was commonly called. Before the 
awestruck eyes of his companions his body fluids ebbed away leaving 
a parched shell that was lifeless long before death; his voice faded into 
a hoarse whisper and his strong capable hands withered to dried claws. 
On September 23, 1852, he died quietly and was buried at Marysville. 
This tragedy instantly brought the expedition to a conjuncture. 
Grudgingly Erwin decided that he would return home. But what would 
the Negroes do? They were on free soil and had only to remain there 
to become forever free. A brief caucus ensued and they chose unani- 
mously to return home with Hamilton Erwin whom they knew and 
trusted and who would lead them back to the old familiar places, 
"Swan Ponds" and "Belvidere," where they would again be united with 
their families and friends. 144 

Isaac Erwin Avery 

Isaac Erwin Avery, the fourth son of Isaac Thomas and Harriet 
Erwin Avery, was born at "Swan Ponds" on December 20, 1828. He 
grew up in the same surroundings as his brothers and entered the 
University of North Carolina in 1847 but attended for only one year. 
After this, he assisted his father in the operation of the plantation and 
was particularly interested in the breeding and raising of horses and 
cattle. He managed the farm in Yancey County and also dealt in cattle 
in association with Colonel Montfort S. Stokes. However, when the 
Western North Carolina Railroad was chartered in 1854, plans were 
soon completed to build a road from Salisbury to Morganton and even- 
tually on to Asheville. A business relationship was established between 
Charles F. Fisher of Salisbury, Samuel McDowell Tate of Morganton, 
and Isaac E. Avery and they entered into contracts to participate in 
the building of the road. 145 In 1861, with the eruption of war, work 
on the road ceased. 146 At this time it had been completed to within 
three miles of Morganton. 


144 George Phifer Erwin Manuscript; Chambers, The Breed and the Pasture, 72. 

XiS Wooten, "Avery Family" 

148 Proceedings of Western North Carolina Railroad: Stockholders Meeting, April 11, 
1863, 21; President's Report, August 31, 1865, 7; and Construction Account, September, 
1864 (Abstract A-Grading), all mention financial transaction with "I. E. Avery & 
Co." 



Saga of a Burke County Family 327 

With the outbreak of war, Fisher was authorized by Governor Ellis 
to form a regiment and he obtained a nucleus of his regiment from 
among the railroad construction employees. Tate and Avery both raised 
companies in Burke County and as a result, this regiment was more 
representative of Burke County than any other. The Sixth Regiment 
of North Carolina State Troops, for so it was designated, like the 
other regiments in the "First Ten North Carolina Regiments" as well 
as the Thirty-Third, was a "war regiment"— it was composed of "three- 
year-or duration" volunteers and its regimental staff and company 
officers were selected by the Governor. Organization of the Sixth took 
place in May, 1861; Colonel Fisher was the commander and Avery 
was a captain commanding E Company, which was the company he 
and his brother, A. C. Avery, had raised. After a period of training at 
Company Shops, now the Town of Burlington, the regiment was sent 
to Virginia and placed in the brigade of General Barnard Bee. As a 
detached regiment, it participated in the Battle of First Manassas and 
gave a good account of itself in this first great battle of the war. Colonel 
Fisher was killed and Colonel William Dorsey Pender, a North Caro- 
linian, later to become a major general, was appointed commander of 
the Sixth by Governor Henry Toole Clark. Pender commanded the 
regiment in only one major battle, Seven Pines, 147 where he showed 
himself to be so capable that he was again promoted and Isaac Erwin 
Avery was promoted to lieutenant colonel and placed in command of 
the Sixth Regiment. On June 18, 1862, he was promoted to colonel 
and held this command from that day until he became brigade com- 
mander after General Hoke was wounded during the Chancellorsville 
Campaign. 

His regiment participated in all of Lee's great campaigns of the sum- 
mer and fall of 1862. At Gaines' Mill, along with Hood's Texans, they 
plunged down the slope to Boatswain's Swamp and up the thickly 
wooded hill into the Federal artillery positions on the crest— a charge 
that marked the burning of the tide in this great battle. In this engage- 
ment, Colonel Avery incurred a wound of the thigh which put him 
out of action until well into the fall. After he returned the regiment 
was inspected by Colonel R. H. Chilton who wrote in his report: "The 
Sixth North Carolina Regiment, Col. (Isaac E.) Avery: Arms mixed 

147 Isaac Erwin Avery was lightly wounded at First Manassas and, according to one 
account, also at Seven Pines. George Phifer Erwin Manuscript. Evidently he was 
not away from his command for any great length of time on either occasion. On 
March 20, 1862, near Fredricksburg, Virginia, he became a Master Mason. R. W. 
York, An Oration, delivered at Kinston, February 20, 1864, at a Masonic demonstra- 
tion in honor of Col. I. E. Avery (Raleigh, 1864), 7, hereinafter cited as York, An 
Oration. 



328 The North Carolina Historical Review 

but in very fine order; although two-thirds of the regiment are badly 
shod and clad, and 20 barefoot, the regiment shows high character of 
its officers in its superior neatness, discipline, and drill." 148 

After the Battle of Fredericksburg in December, 1862, a reor- 
ganization of the army was effected. The policy at the time was to 
brigade troops under officers from their own State. Consequently, the 
Sixth Regiment was removed from Law's Brigade, Hood's Division, 
and placed in a brigade of North Carolina regiments under Brigadier 
General Robert F. Hoke, a brilliant young North Carolina officer who 
had risen rapidly during the war. Hoke's Brigade was placed in a 
division commanded by Major General Jubal Early in Jackson's Corp. 
During the Battle of Chancellorsville, this division was part of a force 
left on the Heights at Fredericksburg, in an attempt to immobilize a 
large Federal force in their front. On May 3, 1863, this Federal force 
moved across the Rappahannock against the Confederate position and 
on March 4 a partially successful offensive operation was launched 
against this force by the Confederates under Early and McLaws. In 
this fierce attack, General Hoke was put out of action with a wound 
of the arm and Isaac Erwin Avery, being the senior colonel, was placed 
in command of Hoke's Brigade 149 and remained its commander until 
his death. 150 

Following this, there was little respite. A period of about five weeks 
was allowed for reorganization, regrouping, and training, and then 
the last great offensive operation of the Army of Northern Virginia 
began— a last great effort to invade the North— a campaign that ended 
abruptly at Gettysburg. The movement began on June 10 with Ewell's 
Corps leading the way. By long hurried marches, they crossed the Blue 
Ridge and moving by way of Front Royal, reached the vicinity of 
Winchester on June 13. Here Early's Division, with the co-operation 
of Edward Johnson's Division, performed a neat, brisk military opera- 
tion which resulted in the capture of over 3,300 Federal troops under 
Major General Robert H. Milroy. As a result, it became necessary to 
detach one of Avery's Regiments to guard these prisoners and herd 
them back to Staunton. This left him with only three regiments— the 
Sixth, the Twenty-First and the Fifty-Seventh— a little noted reduction 
in strength at the time but a glaring weakness in the crisis that was 
soon to come. By leisurely marches, they moved through the lush 
countryside to York, Pennsylvania, collecting food, cattle, and horses 

li8 Official Records, Series I, XI, Part II, 565; Series I, XIX, Part II, 719. 

149 After Chancellorsville and Jackson's death, a corps reorganization occurred. Hoke's 
(Avery's) Brigade continued in Early's Division and this division was placed in 
Ewell's Second Corps. 

160 Clark, Histories of the North Carolina Regiments, I, 293-310. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 329 

as they went. En route to York, they traveled by way of Chambers- 
burg, eastward through the mountains at Cashtown and on through 
Gettysburg. While at York, they camped on the outskirts and rested, 
waiting for the remainder of the army to come up. However, they soon 
were ordered to retrace their steps and concentrate on Gettysburg, 
and they arrived northeast of the town in time to strike the crumbling 
right flank of the Federals in that wild first day's battle which no 
one had planned and few had anticipated. The Federal forces fell 
back in confusion through the town and took up positions on Cemetery 
Hill and Cemetery Ridge and feverishly began to fortify them. E well's 
Corps soon was disposed so that in a general way, Edward John- 
son's Division faced Culp's Hill from the northeast, Early's faced 
Cemetery Hill from the north, and Rodes' faced Cemetery Hill and 
adjacent Cemetery Ridge from the Town of Gettysburg to the north- 
west. Darkness came before these positions were stormed and during 
the night they were heavily fortified by the hardpressed Union forces. 151 
By the following day, Lee had decided to press his initial advantage. 
He ordered Longstreet to make an oblique attack against the southern 
extremity of the Federal lines and Ewell was to supplement him by 
attacking the key Federal positions on Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill 
at the opposite end of the Federal line if success appeared likely. 
Longstreet's attack did not begin to roll until mid-afternoon; never- 
theless Ewell decided to support him. He opened with his artillery 
from Benner's Hill on the Federal position but the return fire was 
so hot that the Confederate artillery was forced to cease firing 
and withdraw. Even this did not lessen Ewell's conviction that he 
should attack. He ordered Johnson against Culp's Hill and Early 
against Cemetery Hill with Rodes' Division co-operating on Early's 
right. Now Early had one brigade commander of doubtful military 
competence. This brigade he left in his rear to guard the York Road. 
The brigade of John B. Gordon he decided to hold in reserve. There- 
fore, it fell upon two brigades— Hays' Louisiana Brigade and Avery's 
North Carolina Brigade— to carry out the assault on Cemetery Hill, a 
Federal strong point and the key of their defensive position. Further- 
more, Hays' Brigade was small and one of Avery's regiments had been 
detached at Winchester. Says the Sixth Regiment historian: "Never 
can that time be forgotten. Every man in the line knew what was 
before him. We had seen the enemy gathering on Cemetery Hill; we 
had laid under the fire of his numerous guns; we knew the preparations 
he had made for us." 152 No one could have been more cognizant of 

151 Clark, Histories of the North Carolina Regiments, I, 311-312. 
1Ea Clark, Histories of the North Carolina Regiments, I, 313. 



330 The North Carolina Historical Review 

these facts than the commanders of this small assault force— Hays and 
Avery. Nevertheless, there is no record of any hesitancy on their part 
when they were directed to advance and carry the works on the heights 
in front. "Seldom, if ever, surpassed in its dash and desperation," 153 
says the Gettysburg National Military Park historian in describing this 
assault. 

The attack commenced a little before dusk. From the vicinity of 
the William Culp house, they moved out over a gentle rise and down 
into a little valley under heavy artillery bombardment. Soon they were 
also under frantic fire from infantry posted behind a stone wall at 
the foot of the long sloping hill. Smoke was so thick in the oncoming 
darkness that their figures were somewhat obscured. The flying lead 
fragmented and ricocheted among the rocks. 154 Colonel Avery was 
out in front of the brigade on a white horse, the only mounted man of 
the command. A ball struck him at the base of his neck, on the right 
side and the impact knocked him from his saddle. The missile had 
found a vital spot. It had burrowed its way through the great blood 
vessels and nerves that supply the upper extremity. He was stunned 
by the fall; his right arm went limp. Slow exsanguination set in. 155 
His brigade moved on to storm the heights, to cling there precariously 
for a time in a desperate hand-to-hand fight, but eventually was forced 
to withdraw because no support came from Rodes. 156 And there he 
died— Isaac Erwin Avery— a Citizen Soldier who bled to death on 
the field of battle and now rests in an unknown soldiers' grave. 157 But 
death came ever so slowly there in the darkness— on that hot July 
night— far away from those he loved and those who loved him— far 
away from the happy remembrances of his childhood— from "Swan 
Ponds" and the pasturelands of Mitchell and Yancey— from the aged 
father he so revered. And so it was with this young soldier as he lay 
there bleeding amidst the wounded and the dying on that hot July 
night in a little glade near Gettysburg. And with a faltering pulse came 
pride— pride mingled with nostalgia and weakness and a sense of great 
relief, and he brought out pencil and paper and wrote "in indistinct 

158 Frederick Tilberg, Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania (Washington, 
D. C: National Park Service Historical Handbook Series, No. 9, 1952), 18, hereinafter 
cited as Tilberg, Gettysburg. 

154 Clark, Histories of the North Carolina Regiments, I, 354-359, 313-314; III, 412- 
416. 

w Clark, Histories of the North Carolina Regiments, III, 416; I, 354. 

^Tilberg, Gettysburg, 18. 

157 1. E. Avery was first buried at Williamsport. York, An Oration, 8. The young 
soldier, John Murphy Walton, wrote in his diary August 5, 1864, that he "visited Col. 
Avery's grave. Felt very sad. ..." A typed copy of this diary is in the possession 
of S. J. Erwin, Jr., of Morganton. Some time after this date Colonel Avery's remains 
were moved to an unknown location. 




Saga of a Burke County Family 



331 




Isaac Erwin Avery's message to his father — "Major Tell my Father I died with 
my Face to the enemy" — is preserved in the Hall of History, State Department of 
Archives and History, Raleigh. 

characters" says his aide, Captain McPherson: "Major, 158 tell my 
father I died with my face to the enemy, I. E. Avery." 159 Years later 
Lord Bryce, 160 the British Ambassador to the United States, saw this 
message at the State Historical Museum (now the Hall of History) 

158 The "Major" addressed in this message was undoubtedly Samuel McDowell Tate, 
who so valiantly led the Sixth Regiment at Gettysburg. 

159 Clark, Histories of the North Carolina Regiments, I, 355; Fred A. Olds, "A 
Soldier's Dying Message," a clipping from the Charlotte Daily Observer, May 14, 
1905; Wooten, "Avery Family"; John B. Gordon, Reminiscences of the Civil War (New 
York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1904), 161. 

ieo James Bryce, British Statesman, jurist, and author was Ambassador to the 
United States from 1907 to 1913. 



332 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and said, "The message of that soldier to his father is the message of 
our own race to the world." 161 

Says the regimental historian of the Fifty-Seventh Regiment: "The 
writer supposes that others will write the story of Colonel Avery's 
military life, or perhaps have done so, but I cannot forbear to say here 
that he was a gallant solider, a very efficient brigade commander, and 
had he lived, would have doubtless risen rapidly in rank." 162 

WlLLOUGHBY FRANCIS AVERY 

Willoughby Francis Avery was the youngest of the sixteen children 
born to Isaac Thomas and Harriet Erwin Avery. At the time of his 
birth, May 7, 1843, his mother was in her forty-eighth year and he 
was only fifteen years old at the time of her death. As a consequence, 
he missed her gentle guiding hand during his formative years. Never- 
theless, he grew up a jolly, carefree boy and entered the University of 
North Carolina in the fall of 1860. War interrupted his education and 
after one year he joined Company F of the Third Cavalry Regiment 163 
as a second lieutenant and served with this unit in eastern North Caro- 
lina. 

In 1862 he was transferred to the Thirty-Third Regiment which was 
commanded by his older brother, Colonel Moulton Avery. He served 
as a second lieutenant in Company C, was later promoted to captain 
and transferred to Company I and served in this capacity until the 
end of the war. He was first wounded at the Battle of Sharpsburg, 
later again at Gettysburg, and finally in May, 1864, in the Wilderness 
of Spotsylvania he was so "dangerously wounded" that his life was 
saved "only by a most skillful operation." 164 When the war ended in 
in 1865, he was twenty-two years old and had already endured more 
physical and emotional anguish than most men are called upon to 
tolerate in a lifetime. Plagued by crippling wounds of the flesh and 
of the spirit, he survived the war by only eleven years. On November 7, 
1866, he married Miss Martha Caroline Jones but she died in less 
than two years as did their infant daughter. Willoughby Avery chose 
journalism as a vocation and edited newspapers in Asheville and Char- 
lotte before returning to his native county and establishing a news- 

161 Albert Coates, a printed extract from "The Cause for Which We Fight" (Chapel 
Hill: The Institute of Government, The University of North Carolina, n. d.). 

iaa Clark, Histories of the North Carolina Regiments, III, 416; Official Records, Series 
I, XXVII, Part II, 471-473, 487. 

163 Company F, Third Cavalry (later designated the Forty-First North Carolina 
Regiment) was composed of Burke County men. The company commander was initially 
Thomas G. Walton, but in 1862 E. Alexander Perkins was elected captain and served 
in this capacity for the remainder of the war. 

164 George Phifer Erwin Manuscript. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 333 

paper at Morganton, which he called The Blue Ridge Blade. In 
February, 1875, he married Miss Laura Atkinson. One child resulted 
from this marriage, born in May, 1876. On the twenty-fourth of 
November, 1876, when his infant son was not yet seven months old, 
Willoughby Avery died. 165 He was buried in the churchyard of the 
First Presbyterian Church at Morganton where he had been a member 
since August 1, 1867. 166 He was thirty-three years old at the time of 
his death. 

Alphonso Calhoun Avery 

Alphonso Calhoun Avery, the fifth son of Isaac Thomas and Harriet 
Erwin Avery was born at "Swan Ponds" on September 11, 1835. His 
childhood was healthy and happy; he was subjected to the same en- 
vironmental influences as were his brothers. After the usual prelim- 
inary home schooling, he attended Bingham School in Orange County 
as preparation for entrance to the University of North Carolina. In 
1857 he graduated from the University with the Bachelor of Arts de- 
gree, and at the head of his class. 167 After graduation, he worked for 
his father managing the stock farm in Yancey County, then studied law 
under Richmond M. Pearson, later Chief Justice of the State Supreme 
Court and an outstanding law teacher of the ante-bellum era. In 1860 
Avery was licensed to practice law and a few months later, in February, 
1861, he married Susan Washington Morrison, a daughter of Robert 
Hall Morrison who was a Presbyterian minister and the first President 
of Davidson College. 168 Three months later, A. C. Avery was helping 
his brother Isaac E. Avery raise a company in the Sixth Regiment 
North Carolina State Troops, and was granted a commission as First 
Lieutenant in the same regiment. As Lieutenant in Company E, which 
was commanded by his brother, Captain Isaac E. Avery, he saw action 
in the Battles of First Manassas and Seven Pines. It will be recalled 
that after Seven Pines, Captain I. E. Avery was placed in command 
of the Sixth Regiment. Shortly thereafter, A. C. Avery was promoted 
to captain and became the commander of Company E, Sixth Regiment. 
With his keen mind and clerical education, however, he was considered 
to be of more value at headquarters than in the field and consequently 
was transferred to the staff of his brother-in-law, Major General Daniel 

165 George Phifer Erwin Manuscript. 

166 Avery, History of the Presbyterian Churches, 38. 

167 A memorial sketch contributed by the Reverend Carey E. Gregory after Judge 
A. C. Avery's death to the latter's History of the Presbyterian Church. 

168 Three of his other daughters married Confederate generals : Lieutenant General 
T. J. Jackson, Major General D. H. Hill, and Brigadier General Rufus Barringer. 



334 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Harvey Hill, in December, 1862, and served for some time as Assistant 
Inspector General of Hill's Division in the Army of Northern Virginia, 
being duly promoted to the rank of Major. In 1864 he went with the 
ill-fated Hill to the Army of the West where his brother-in-law served 
for a time as a Corps Commander. While there Major Avery served on 
the staffs of Major General John C. Breckinridge, Major General 
Thomas C. Hindman, and Lieutenant General John Bell Hood, 169 and 
was with the command of the latter during his retreat from Dalton, 
Georgia, to the Chattahoochee River. In consideration of the fact that 
his three older brothers had already been killed in action and his 
father was dying, Major Avery was granted a leave of absence by 
General Hood in the summer of 1864 and within a month or so was 
transferred to the Department of North Carolina. In the fall of that 
year, at the suggestion of the Adjutant General of Western North 
Carolina District, he was authorized to organize a battalion which 
was subsequently to be enlarged to a regiment and was to be used for 
the protection of the northwestern frontier of North Carolina. For a 
few months, Avery's Battalion served a useful purpose but it was 
unable to cope with the large Federal force that was moved to East 
Tennessee in the spring of 1865. At this time Major General George 
Stoneman with a division of Federal Cavalry moved into western 
North Carolina on a mammoth raid and Major Avery was captured 
at the Confederate Army Headquarters in Salisbury while he was 
there on military business. With other captured prisoners, he was 
marched back to Tennessee 170 and was confined at Camp Chase until 
August, 1865, at which time he was paroled and returned to "Swan 
Ponds" to begin the practice of law in Morganton. 

However, he was in no wise returning to the life which he had left. 
Led since childhood to believe that he would assume a more favored 
position in the community, it was profoundly disillusioning for him to 
learn that in the ferment that followed the war years, his economic 
status had abruptly changed. There developed for him, and others like 
him, a ceaseless struggle against the blight of poverty and the crush of 
debt. Families were as large as ever, and as demanding as ever, but 
money was almost nonexistent and the people were in no position to 
pay for services. Even so, members of his class felt that social and 

iet> Wooten, "Avery Family"; Major A. C. Avery was attached to headquarters of 
Hill's Corps August 3, 1863, as Assistant Inspector General, Official Records, Series 
I, XXIII, Part II, 949; commended by Hill at Chickamauga. Official Records, Series 
I, XXX, Part II, 147; attached to headquarters of Hindman's Corps January 12, 1864, 
as Assistant Inspector General. Official Records, Series I, XXXII, Part II, 549; and 
listed as Assistant Adjutant General. Official Records, Series I, XXXIX, Part II, 854. 

170 Clark, Histories of the North Carolina Regiments, IV, 371-377 ; Arthur, Western 
North Carolina, 405-406. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 335 

political position entitled them to certain prerogatives not shared by 
others to the same degree. That this attitude was prevalent in his 
generation is evident. 

As soon as he returned home he became actively engaged in politics 
and in 1866 was elected to the State Senate from a district composed 
of Burke, Caldwell, and McDowell counties. During his tenure of of- 
fice, he originated and secured the passage of an act which imple- 
mented the extension of the Western North Carolina Bailroad to Old 
Fort. 171 However, the axe soon fell and his political fortunes also 
crumbled. With the passage of the Beconstruction Act by the United 
States Congress in 1867, the Conservative Democrats were soon swept 
out of office and the Bepublican Party was formed and took over. 
Composed of die-hard Unionists, disaffected Confederates, carpet- 
baggers, scalawags, and Negroes, it ruled the State in a tempestuous 
fashion until 1877— a period of almost ten years. 

With this turn of events, Avery joined an underground resistance 
movement instituted by the Conservative politicians of the State. A 
leader in the organization of the Ku Klux Klan in western North Caro- 
lina, he rode with the vigilantes. The Klan had been organized osten- 
sibly for the protection of women, property, and civilization itself; in 
addition, it was a powerful resistance movement against the Bepublican 
Party, its principles and its policies. Confederate soldiers and respected 
citizens manned its ranks. It functioned actively and heroically during 
the late sixties and early seventies and promptly disbanded when it 
was no longer needed. There was no resemblance between it and 
subsequent organizations of the same name. 172 

Avery was elected as a Conservative delegate to the North Carolina 
Constitutional Convention of 1875. This body revised the State Con- 
stitution which had been rewritten by the Bepublicans in 1868. Most 
of the changes made in 1875 were in the form of amendments and 
were the results of lessons learned during Beconstruction. In 1876, he 
was a Democratic Presidential elector. In 1878, with the return of the 
Democrats to power, he was elected a judge of the Superior Court of 
North Carolina. In the same year, probably influenced by the prayers 
of a Christian wife and the memory of a saintly mother, he professed 
his faith and became a member of the Frst Presbyterian Church at 
Morganton. On November 2, 1879, he was ordained and installed as 

171 Arthur, Western North Carolina, 405-406; Laws of North Carolina, 1866-1867, 
c. XCIV, s. I; c. XCVIII, ss. 1-4. 

172 Josephus Daniels, an address made in presentation of a portrait of Judge A. C. 
Avery, April 11, 1933, recorded in a newspaper clipping from The News and Observer 
(Raleigh), April 12, 1933, North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina 
Library, hereinafter cited as Daniels, Address. 



336 The North Carolina Historical Review 

a ruling elder in this Church, an office that he fulfilled in an exemplary 
manner for more than twenty-five years. 173 In 1886 his wife died and 
three years later he married Sara Love Thomas, daughter of Colonel 
W. H. Thomas who was a prominent political figure in western North 
Carolina. In 1889 Trinity College in Durham, conferred on him the 
Master of Arts degree and in the same year the University of North 
Carolina honored him with a Doctor of Laws degree. 174 

Judge Avery rode the circuits as a Superior Court judge for ten 
years, and in 1888 was elected an Associate Justice of the Supreme 
Court of North Carolina. He served on the Supreme Court for eight 
years and during this time filed more than five hundred opinions which, 
to a large extent, embody his political philosophy and also tend to 
throw some light on the characteristics of the man himself. Throughout 
these opinions he championed the rights of the individual, for, it 
has been said that he "had an absorbing passion for the rights of man. 
This dominated all his thinking and all his acts." He served on The 
Court during a period when the railroads were represented by the 
most powerful corporate bodies within the State. The power and 
tobacco trusts had not come into their own and, as yet, did not 
seriously threaten to usurp the rights of the people. Justice Avery was 
a vigorous advocate of the creation of the State regulatory commission 
for the railroad companies and he stood firmly beside Justice Walter 
Clark in the decision which ruled that railroads were no longer exempt 
from taxation, either ad valorem or franchise. Justice Avery's opinions, 
published in the Supreme Court Reports covering the years 1889 
through 1896, deal with all phases of the law but are of particular 
interest when dealing with the homestead, ejectment and boundaries, 
fraud and fraudulent conveyances, and insurance. "The value of his 
legal pronouncements is shown by the number of times that his opin- 
ions are cited in subsequent reports with approval of his successors on 
the Supreme Court bench." 175 In 1892, the year Trinity College was 
moved to Durham, he assumed the burden of its struggling Law School 
as Dean and teacher. For more than a year he served in this capacity, 
teaching a law class for two hours at a stretch twice a week, in addi- 
tion to carrying on his other duties. 176 

After his retirement from the bench in 1897, Judge Avery conducted 
a private law practice in the courts of western North Carolina and also 
taught a law class in Morganton. He had ceased to live at "Swan Ponds" 

173 Avery, History of the Presbyterian Churches, 44. 

174 Alumni History, 24. 

178 Trinity' College Catalogue, 1890-91, 28, 95; 1891-92, 45; 1893-94, 20. Trinity 
Archives, September 1892, 34; February, 1894, 29; October, 1894, 31. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 337 

in 1876 and had built a house in Morganton, a more convenient loca- 
tion for one engaged in the practice of law. The remnants of his 
father's estate, including "Swan Ponds," had been liquidated and the 
proceeds divided equitably among the surviving heirs. 

Throughout his life Judge Avery was a prolific writer, not only on 
legal matters, but often on historical and biographical subjects. His 
Life and Character of General D. H. Hill m is recognized as the best 
sketch of this famous Confederate General. At the time of his death 
he had just completed a History of the Presbyterian Churches at 
Quaker Meadows and Morganton but never had the opportunity to 
proofread it. At a meeting of the State Confederate Veterans Associa- 
tion in 1894, Judge Avery made the motion which led to the publica- 
tion by the State of a history of the North Carolina regiments and 
battalions in the Civil War. Edited by Judge Walter Clark, this monu- 
mental work is the only available publication of its type on this sub- 
ject. Several of the historical sketches in this study were contributed 
by Judge Avery and are notable for the clear concise way in which 
they are written. Like a great many people of large intellectual attain- 
ment, Judge Avery was inclined to be preoccupied and frequently he 
was oblivious of the ordinary matters that clutter the mind of the 
average person. Older members of the Morganton Presbyterian Church 
can remember readily his mannerisms each Sunday when he arrived 
for morning worship. After taking his seat and disposing of his hat, 
coat, walking stick, and umbrella in a methodical manner, he would 
then survey his surroundings and finding them strange, would abruptly 
realize that he was not in his usual pew; whereupon it would be neces- 
sary for him to collect all his accouterments, before moving to his 
proper seat and again composing himself. By nature a gregarious man, 
he seems to have been an inveterate joiner, belonging to the Beta Theta 
Pi social fraternity in college and to many of the fraternal orders in 
later life. 

Late in life Judge Avery developed diabetes mellitus, a constitu- 
tional disease relatively common in the Avery family, and died at his 
home in Morganton, June 13, 1913, of the vascular complications that 
often accompany this malady. 

Says the Reverend Carey E. Gregory in a memorial sketch: "Judge 
Avery was Morganton's most distinguished citizen—He was a born 
leader of men, possessing the qualities of character and intellect that 

177 A. C. Avery, Memorial Address on Life and Character of Lieutenant General D. H. 
Hill, May 10, 1893 (Raleigh: [Privately printed], 1893). 



338 The North Carolina Historical Review 

distinguish a natural leader— We rejoice in a career so distinguished, 
a life so complete, for we see in it, the fulfilment of a divine promise." 178 



To attempt to analyze and evaluate the family group which has been 
delineated in this series of sketches is, perhaps, in the highest degree 
futile; however, too much energy has already been expended to leave 
the subject without an attempt at such a summary. Indeed, it must be 
done in order that the family and each member herein sketched be 
placed in proper perspective. Certain characteristics stand out as being 
common to the members of all three generations; other characteristics 
are possessed only by members of one generation but these same 
characteristics may be wholly typical of a certain class, a certain 
locality, or a certain era. 

For example, all of these men sought to advance themselves through 
the medium of politics. Some sought elective office and others were 
content with appointive offices which enabled them to exert influence 
in favor of kinfolk and friends. In time of war, they brought pressure 
to bear on the military leaders in an effort to gain promotions. Either 
by instinct or by design, they cultivated the acquaintances of influen- 
tial people and made marriages which advanced their political, social, 
and economic fortunes. Commercial enterprises ordinarily drew their 
interest only when the State government lent its support thus giving 
the venture a political flavor. They apparently had no appetite for 
trade, manufacturing, the arts, or the professions except for law which 
they used as a convenient avenue of approach to a political career. 
They held sway in Burke County for almost a century but they left 
little lasting impression on the community in which they lived except 
for an occasional street sign or historical marker. Their red brick houses 
still stand in varying stages of usefulness and their names are per- 
petuated by a people who are hardly aware that they ever existed. 
Generous, and pleasure-loving, they were noted for their hospitality 
and easy manner. By and large, they were scholarly people, letter 
writers, inveterate readers, and willing speechmakers. Frugality was 
not one of their sterling virtues and, with the possible exception of 
Isaac, the father, they managed financial matters poorly and without 
serious consideration. A quick temper and lack of tact occasionally 
led them into embarrassing altercations. 

Waightstill, the grandfather, possessed as he was of a large will 
and a spirit of adventure, knew the America of his day as did few 

178 Avery, History of the Presbyterian Churches, 87. 



Saga of a Burke County Family 339 

others. Born of a well-established but not overly-prosperous typical 
New England family and educated in the middle colonies, he had 
sensed the decadence of the Tidewater aristocracy and had chosen 
the frontier but was not a part of it. He should be remembered for 
his persistent stand for public education at all levels, for his diverse 
service to the State during its formative years, and for his continued 
support and encouragement of the settlements to the west of the 
mountains. 

The father, Isaac, was less urbane and less venturesome; the charac- 
teristic parochialism of the period and locality focused his attention 
on his own community. In his repeated efforts to industrialize the 
county and otherwise bolster its economy, he demonstrated vigor and 
imagination but little discernment. From first to last, he fostered 
navigation on the Catawba River, scientific farming, gold mining, aca- 
demies, public schools, railroads, State banking, the doctrine of State 
Rights, and other conventional projects and issues of the day. In- 
sufficient capital and a lack of trained personnel wrecked most of his 
schemes. It is to his credit that he never ceased to try. 

His sons were not unlike other young men of the so-called planter 
class. They grew up in an atmosphere of unreality and romance; as 
youths they often read the novels of Sir Walter Scott and never quite 
got over the experience. They were victims of a stiff and unyielding 
provincialism which nourished an overweening pride and a steadfast 
sense of loyalty that transcended all other obligations. No matter what 
the price, their honor must be zealously protected— under no circum- 
stances must they accept insult or injury without redress. This called 
for violence and they did not shun it; it called for courage and they had 
it in abundance. Steeped in the romanticism of the Old South, they 
sought the gold of El Dorado and died in the charge of the Light 
Brigade. But who would be so cynical as to deny that they were moved 
by what we shall have to call sincere idealism? 



THE KU KLUX KLAN: A STUDY IN 
RECONSTRUCTION POLITICS AND PROPAGANDA 

By Otto H. Olsen* 

The history of the Ku Klux Klan in the Reconstruction South has re- 
mained rather free of revisionist research, 1 and standard portrayals con- 
tinue to assert that the Klan was not onlv an understandable but a 
justifiable and even necessary response to that widespread evil and 
disorder which allegedly accompained Negro equality and Republican 
rule. The more atrocious excesses of this respectable organization of 
terrorists are frequently attributed to a lower class riffraff acting con- 
trary to the desires of the original Klansmen. 2 

Several counties which were the center of Klan activity in North 
Carolina during 1869 and 1870 provide an unusually appropriate area 
for reviewing the origins and activities of the Reconstruction Klan. 
The first congressional investigation of the Klan dealt primarily with 
this area, and while it is true that this investigation was dominated by 
Republicans, a great deal of important information was accumulated 
about the activities of Klansmen. Both parties participated in cross 
questioning, and sworn testimony was taken freely from both partisan 
friends and opponents of the Ku Klux Klan. 3 Two additional sources 
of sworn testimony provide additional verification of the Klan's activi- 
ties in this region: (1) an impeachment trial of a Republican governor 

* Dr. Olsen is Assistant Professor of History, Norfolk College of The Colleges of 
William and Mary, Virginia. 

1 One balanced study is in Francis B. Simkins and Robert H. Woody, South Carolina 
During Reconstruction (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1932). 
The best known revisionism in the entire field of Reconstruction in the South is often 
not a product of original research, and recent monographs necessarily, but lamentably, 
rely heavily upon old State accounts ; for example, see Otis A. Singletary, Negro Militia 
and Reconstruction (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1957). 

2 E. Merton Coulter, The South During Reconstruction, 1865-1877 (Baton Rouge: 
Louisiana State University Press, 1947), 128, 148, 156-157; Hodding Carter, The Angry 
Scar: The Story of Reconstruction (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1959), 
60-61, 197-198, 213; Stanley F. Horn, The Invisible Empire: The Story of the Ku Klux 
Klan, 1866-1871 (Boston, Massachusetts: The Riverside Press [Houghton Mifflin 
Company], 1939), passim. Critical of the Klan is the partisan, but unjustly neglected, 
account by an ex-Carpetbagger, Albion W. Tourgee's "The Invisible Empire," which 
appears as Part II of various editions of Tourgee's A Fool's Errand by One of the 
Fools. 

3 Senate Report No. 1, Forty-Second Congress, First Session, 1871, hereinafter cited 
as Senate Report No. 1. 



The Ku Klux Klan 341 

conducted by an opposition Conservative party legislature, and (2) 
certain testimony taken before the moderate Supreme Court justices 
of North Carolina. 4 These sources have been supplemented by news- 
papers, court records, manuscript collections, and other materials. 

Hitherto the main accounts of Klan activity in North Carolina have 
endorsed an extenuating interpretation: "Crime and violence of every 
sort ran unchecked until a large part of the South became a veritable 
hell through misrule which approximated anarchy," and the Ku Klux 
Klan was "called into existence by this state of affairs" and succeeded 
in restoring political power "to the hands of the class best fitted to 
administer" and in establishing order and justice, safety for white 
womanhood, and white supremacy. Despite these results, supposedly 
"it is clear that the movement was primarily designed for protection 
and its influence upon politics was purely incidental." 5 How valid is 
such an interpretation? 

Following the formation and remarkable success of the North 
Carolina Republican Party during 1867, Republicans were increasingly 
concerned with a variety of threats received from their powerful Con- 
servative party opponents. The operations of the Ku Klux Klan were 
among a number of coercive incidents justifying Republican fears. 6 
Threatening Klan notices appeared during the elections of 1868, and 
terrorism was underway before the end of the year. Although the first 
assassination by the Klan occurred further east in the State, it was the 
Piedmont area surrounding Greensboro that soon became the center of 
Klan violence. 7 By the summer of 1869 disguised bands had perpe- 
trated a series of beatings, cuttings, shootings, and other outrages, 
usually against Negroes. An undeniable "reign of terror" continued in 
this area until at least fifteen murders and hundreds of lesser atrocities 
had been committed by the Ku Klux Klan. Republican leaders went 
armed in fear of their lives; they barricaded and fortified their homes; 

* Trial of William W. Holden, Governor of North Carolina . . . (Raleigh: "Sentinel" 
Printing Office [Published by order of the Senate (of North Carolina)], 3 volumes, 
1871), hereinafter cited as Holden Trial; Third Annual Message of W. W. Holden . . ., 
Nov. 1870 (Raleigh, 1870), hereinafter cited as Holden's Message. 

5 Joseph G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Reconstruction in North Carolina (New York: 
Columbia University, 1914), 452-454 ff., hereinafter cited as Hamilton, Reconstruction. 
See also R. D. W. Connor, "The Ku Klux Klan and Its Operations in North Carolina," 
North Carolina University Magazine, Old Series, XXX (April, 1900), 224-234. 

e The Times (Greensboro), March 5, 1868; Daily North Carolina Standard (Raleigh), 
April 11, 17, 1868, hereinafter cited as Daily Standard. Thomas Settle to D. L. Elington, 
March 25, 1863, and Agent to Col. J. Chur, May 26, 1868, North Carolina Freedman's 
Bureau Records, National Archives, Washington, D. C 

7 Hamilton, Reconstruction, 466 ff. ; Daily Standard, September-October, 1869 ; various 
letters to Governor William W. Holden, December, 1868-May, 1869, Governor Holden 
Papers, State Department of Archives and History, hereinafter cited as Governor 
Holden Papers. 



342 The North Carolina Historical Review 

they slept uneasily behind locked doors; and Negroes testified elo- 
quently to the terror among their people. 8 

The law appeared impotent in the face of this terror. Effective dis- 
guises and the Klan's clever system of arranging local raids by distant 
dens hindered identification. When identification was made, Klans- 
men furnished false but sworn alibis for their comrades, and the Klan 
intimidated or killed witnesses as well as those who aided in prosecut- 
ing the Klan. Within the courts mysteriously altered words succeeded 
in nullifying an indictment, Klansmen sat on juries to obstruct in- 
dictment or conviction, and police officials belonged to the Klan. 9 "All 
the law that could be, would be worth nothing, that is the civil law," 
concluded one Negro magistrate; and a number of Superior and 
Supreme Court judges were convinced that it was almost impossible 
to enforce the law against the Klan. 10 

The lasting apology for this state of affairs was initiated by pre- 
dominant portions of a Conservative party which dominated the 
wealth, press, education, and previous leadership of the State. While 
indignantly concerned with a supposed Negro crime wave, this poli- 
tical group was remarkably unperturbed by the obvious atrocities of 
the Klan. The very existence of the Klan was long denied or treated as 
a huge joke. Atrocities were usually ignored, unless they were of such 
notoriety as to demand deprecation, whereupon the victim was de- 
picted in a manner which condoned the crime. Supposedly to cope 
with a Negro crime wave that Republicans were too incapable or too 
lenient to control, Conservative newspapers promoted vigilante jus- 
tice, 11 one directly suggesting that: "Very often in the present condi- 
tion of southern society, nothing but lynch law will do." 12 Criticisms of 
the abolition of whipping, "the one great incentive" to Negro moral- 

s Holden Trial, I, 100-108; II, 1,203, 1,355-1,357, 1,375-1,380, 1,394-1,395, 1,428- 
1,433, 1,800-1,805, 1,885-1,886, 2,078, 2,090-2,092; Holden's Message, Appendix, 198-199; 
Senate Report No. 1, passim; Katherine Hoskins "Lawyer Reid, Victim of the Ku 
Klux Klan," unpublished manuscript in Miss Hoskins' possession, Summerfield, North 
Carolina, hereinafter cited as Hoskins, "Lawyer Reid." 

9 Judge J. M. Cloud to Thomas Settle, July 19, 1869, Thomas Settle Papers, Southern 
Historical Collection, University of North Carolina Library, hereinafter cited as 
Southern Historical Collection; Albion W. Tourgee to Governor Holden, July 3, 1869, 
Governor Holden Papers; Daily Standard, January 15, March 31, 1870; Holden Trial, 
I, 287-293; II, 1,226-1,227, 1,393-1,397, 1,582, 1,800-1,801, 1,878, 1,926 ff.; Holden's 
Message, Appendix, 188-189, 246, 254-256; Senate Report No. 1, xxv-xxvi, cii-cv, 35-36, 
83, 287. 

10 Senate Report No. 1, xxii-xxvi, cxii, 186-187, 407-408; Holden Trial, II, 2,090-2,091; 
Holden's Message, 15. 

^Greensboro Patriot, August 13, 1868, April 8, 15, June 10, 1869; Hillsborough 
Recorder, October 13, 1869, and quoted in Daily Standard, September 16, 1869; 
Roanoke News (Weldon), quoted in Daily Standard, October 14, 1869; Daily Sentinel 
(Raleigh), November 6, December 1, 1868, June 1, 1869, hereinafter cited as Daily 
Sentinel. 

12 Daily Sentinel quoted in Daily Standard, March 11, 1869. 



The Ku Klux Klan 343 

encouraged that frequent practice, while brutal lynchings were 
mly described and surprise was expressed that summary vengeance 
s not visited more often upon Negroes who outraged white women. 13 
t Klansmen, but Republicans were responsible for such activities, hi- 
ed many Conservatives, and Klan atrocities were but "the legitimate 
ults of the acts and teachings of the Radical party of the State." 
e Union Leagues were attacked in particular and blamed directly 
at least four-fifths of the crime supposedly sweeping the State and 
irectly for it all. Compounding this evil was the reported prejudice 
'League Judges" who dealt lightly with "League rougues." "Crimes 
"he most bloody and terrible character are perpetrated, and the per- 
rators of these crimes go unwhipt of justice," and there is "no reason- 
e safety for life or property," charged the Conservative press. "Who 
lid be surprised that this has given rise to, if it has not created, that 
ier terrible organization, the Ku Klux? The wonder is, that there 

not more Ku Klux." 14 

rhus the Klan was glorified as an organization upholding the law, 
lishing criminals, discouraging crime, and protecting property, 
ite women and racial purity, 15 and such became the traditional in- 
pretation of the Klan. This conception, however, appears to have 
ginated largely in the vivid imagination of Conservative propa- 
ldists, who sought to encourage, excuse, and profit from the ac- 
ities of the Ku Klux Klan. This is not to suggest that Republicans 
re innocent of expression or activity provoking Conservative ire, 
t Republican responsibility does not appear to have been of the 
>e or degree frequently claimed. 

Consider, for example, the purported relationship between crime 
1 the Ku Klux Klan. Due to poverty, want, turmoil, and war, crime 
I increase in the South during and following the Civil War, and 
doubtedly this crime, as well as the demagogic exaggerations of 
gro crime, contributed to Conservative desperation. However, this 
minal problem existed before the Republicans assumed political 
ltrol in 1868 and continued for years after the restoration of Con- 
vative rule and, thus, cannot be considered a peculiar characteristic 
the Republican regime. 16 There is no substantial indication that 
me (other than that of the Klan itself plus some instances of re- 

Greensboro Patriot, January 28, April 15, June 10, 24, 1869. 

Greensboro Patriot, August 27, 1868, May 19, 1870; Daily Sentinel, April 29, 
y 14, 15, June 16, August 11, September 29, 30, October 5, 14, December 9, 1869. 
Daily Sentinel, September 10, November 8, 1869; Hillsborough Recorder, September 
October 13, 20, 1869. 

Kenneth Edson St. Clair, "The Administration of Justice in North Carolina Dur- 
Reconstruction, 1865-1876" (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Ohio State Univer- 
', 1939), 253, 379, 461. 



344 The North Carolina Historical Review 

taliation against the Klan ) increased or that chaotic lawlessness existed 
in the area of Klan rampage during Republican Reconstruction. 17 
Adept and eager Conservative newspapers were unable to establish 
clearly any instances of rape by Negroes that were not adequately 
handled through the courts; charges of rampant thievery were sus- 
piciously general rather than specific, while the few specific accusa- 
tions were usually false but remained uncorrected; 18 the one definite 
criminal charge against Republican leaders in the district was 
proved a hoax; 19 and, contrary to the asserted character of the Klan, 
its victims were all too seldom criminals. There appears to have been 
but one major crime definitely known to have motivated a major. 
Klan atrocity, an instance wherein three Negroes, whose guilt is doubt- 
ful, were murdered for barn burning. 20 Sufficient outcry was raised 
over this one case to suggest that any other similar instances would 
have been prominently publicized. 

Despite the desires of watchful Conservatives, not even occasional 
instances of criminal activity by the Union Leagues were ever estab- 
lished in North Carolina. The only two specific accusations were based 
solely upon the accounts of a bitterly partisan press, and neither one 
occurred in an area of subsequent great Klan activity. 21 The Conserva- 
tive practice of attributing every instance of Negro crime to the 
Leagues was hardly a valid judgment, and even some Conservatives 
believed that the Leagues were engaged only in legitimate political 
activities. It was in the nature of the situation, that in the pursuit of 
Negro votes the Union Leagues sought to dispel the slave heritage and 
to cultivate responsible citizenship, including respect for property 
rights and for the democratic political process, although it is also 
true that the Leagues contributed to Negro confidence and consequent 
behavior which many whites considered impudent. 22 Ironically, the 
Leagues were teaching respect for legality at the very moment the 
authorities were failing to protect Republicans against the illegal out- 

17 Excluding the "criminal" aspects of Reconstruction railroad appropriations. 

w Daily Sentinel, November 8, 1869, April 8, 1870; Daily Standard, January 18, 
March 19, 1870. 

" Daily Standard, September 25, 27, October 5, 1869; Daily Sentinel, September 
22-30, 1869. 

20 Superior Court Record Book and A. S. Murdock to A. W. Tourgee, August 7, 
1869, Albion W. Tourgee Papers, Chautauqua County Historical Museum, Westfield, 
New York, hereinafter cited as Tourgee Papers; Senate Report No. 1, 190-191; Holden 
Trial, II, 1,793-1,805; Daily Sentinel, July 28, 1869; Greensboro Patriot, August 12, 
1869. 

^Hamilton, Reconstruction, 329, 339-341, 399; Austin Marcus Drumm, "The Union 
League in the Carolinas" (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of North Caro- 
lina, 1955), 59, 62, hereinafter cited as Drumm, "The Union League." Drumm presents 
no evidence of League crime in North Carolina, other than political coercion. 

22 Greensboro Patriot, August 27, 1868; Daily Sentinel, May 9, 1870; Drumm, "The 
Union League," 18, 105-106; Senate Report No. 1, 68-69, 193. 



The Ku Klux Klan 345 

rages of the Ku Klux Klan. In this district the only definitely known 
organized Negro criminal activity for political purposes occurred two 
years after and in retaliation against the appearance of the Ku Klux 
Klan. These Negroes were quickly arrested, tried, and convicted be- 
fore a Republican Carpetbagger judge, who sentenced them to harsh 
prison terms. 23 

Further suspicion of Conservative assertions is aroused when it is 
noted that in the three counties of greatest Klan activity, political and 
legal control was largely in Conservative hands. The Caswell County 
commissioners, sheriff, deputies, and other local officials were Con- 
servatives. The county commissioners, court clerk, sheriff, and deputies 
of Orange County were Conservatives, and in Alamance County many 
of the county officials, including the sheriff, were Conservatives. While 
supposedly enforcing the law, the Alamance sheriff and his deputies 
were members of the Klan. In none of these counties were there un- 
usual obstacles to the arrest, indictment, and prosecution of criminals, 
unless they were Klansmen. 24 

One remaining excuse for vigilante justice in the area was that the 
Republican Superior Court judge, Albion W. Tourgee, did not deal 
out justice to criminals. Because of his judicial behavior, asserted a 
State senator, the Carpetbagger Tourgee was assailable "as the cause 
and origin of all the [Ku Klux] trouble in the county of Orange." 25 
A detailed study of the experiences of Judge Tourgee will further 
clarify matters concerning the Klan. 

Tourgee was a Union veteran who had emigrated from Pennsylvania 
to North Carolina in 1865. He held an Ohio law license and A.B. and 
M.A. degrees from Rochester University, and in 1868 he fathered the 
new and more efficient system of codified legal procedure incorporated 
into the North Carolina Constitution of that year. Trained in the code 
system in the North, Tourgee was unusually well versed in the new 
codified system of procedure, and he was certainly one of the most 
qualified judicial candidates the Republicans could offer from their 
limited reserve of educated men. Tourgee had not yet practiced in the 
North Carolina courts, however, he was only thirty-one (although 

23 Senate Report No. 1, Part 2 (minority report), 39-48. 

24 R. D. W. Connor (comp. and ed.), A Manual of North Carolina . . . , 1913 (Raleigh: 
The North Carolina Historical Commission [State Department of Archives and His- 
tory], 1913), 1,001-1,002, hereinafter cited as Connor, Manual, 1913; Hillsboro Union 
League to Governor Holden, April 26, 1869, Governor Holden Papers; Senate Report 
No. 1, 36, 83, 190-192; Holden' s Message, Appendix, 246; Holden Trial, I, 518-519; II, 
1,226-1,227, 1,407, 1,944, 2,049; Daily Sentinel, March 11, 1868, June 14, 1870. There 
were complaints of unsatisfactory Republican magistrates, but instances of definite 
incapacity have not been established. 

25 Daily Standard, February 1, 1870. 



346 The North Carolina Historical Review 

youthful leadership was not rare in the State ) , and he was a Carpet- 
bagger. His career soon illustrated how easily the Carpetbagger stereo- 
type became a useful but irresponsible political weapon. 

Aware of his youth and limited experience, Tourgee's first court 
addresses revealed an appropriate humility, a desire to conciliate his 
political opponents, and a determination to stamp out postwar crime. 
With any significant co-operation from Conservatives, the obvious de- 
sire of Tourgee and other Republicans for political harmony and 
stability might well have been attained. 26 Instead vocal segments of the 
Conservative party resisted the establishment of normal political or 
social relationships and launched a campaign bitterly maligning every- 
thing Republican. 27 

The denunciation of the Republican judiciary began before their 
courts were even held. 28 These judges, asserted the Raleigh Sentinel, 
"in the main, are a disgrace to the bench, a mockery of dignity and 
decency, a laughing stock for the legal profession and a curse and 
blight to the people . . . they have no legal learning, or any other sort 
of learning, and what is worse, they have no capacity to learn." Dis- 
respect for the "shallow-brained, revengeful yankee judge" was en- 
couraged, even before Tourgee assumed the bench, by implying that 
he was a penitentiary convict, by depicting his efforts to secure heat 
in local jails as an encouragement to crime, and by innumerable in- 
stances of petty ridicule and m alignment. One criticism of unusual 
substance involved Tourgee's efforts to obtain Negro jurors, and the 
nastiest attack occurred when a young Negro girl was adopted into 
the Tourgee home: "This is generous in the Judge— very generous! Is 
Tourgee a married man?" commented the Sentinel. Tourgee's initial 
court addresses were so distorted by the press that public apologies 
were made by Tourgee's more moderate political opponents, who 
were beginning to appreciate his ability and objectiveness. 29 Such 
testimonials complimentary to Tourgee were usually ignored by the 
Conservative press. This corresponded to the usual method of creating 
the Republican stereotype: A slanderous inference or accusation was 
freely made, but after being revealed as false, no effort was made to 

26 Manuscript addresses, Tourgee Papers; Daily Standard, late 1868 through 1870; 
addresses of Governor Holden in Public Documents of North Carolina, 1868-1870, 
hereinafter cited as Public Documents. The author feels this statement is warranted 
despite such instances of Republican extremism as that mentioned in Hamilton, 
Reconstruction, 368-370. 

27 Conservative press, 1868-1870. The Daily Sentinel led in this campaign, and the 
newspapers in the district being studied frequently followed its lead. 

28 The following based upon: Daily Sentinel, August 8, 21, September 14, 26, Octo- 
ber 21, 1868, February 8, March 5, April 6, 20, 1869; Greensboro Patriot, August 13, 
September 10, October 8, 1868. 

29 Daily Standard, December 29, 1868. 



The Ku Klux Klan 347 

correct a well-circulated misrepresentation. The constant repetition of 
this procedure contributed greatly to the picture of Republican de- 
basement and villainy. 

The first pertinent criticism of a judicial decision by Tourgee was an 
editorial entitled "Judge Tourgee's Revenge." Written by the irascible 
editor of the Sentinel, Josiah Turner, Jr., this editorial accused Tourgee 
of partisan and revengeful behavior in a legal case wherein Turner 
was an attorney. Two respected Conservative attorneys emphatically 
repudiated Turner's accusations stating that the Judge's decision was 
the only equitable one possible. 30 The Sentinel also complained of 
Republican leniency when Tourgee twice set aside the conviction of 
a Negro for larceny. This particular case was reportedly used by 
Klansmen in Orange County as the major justification for their exis- 
tence, a most doubtful claim since the Klan appeared before the first 
trial and had committed most of its atrocities, including three murders, 
before the second trial of this Negro. The root of the difficulty in this 
case was racial prejudice. Judge Tourgee agreed with the Conservative 
defense attorney who "did not believe a white man would have been 
convicted upon the evidence in the case." 31 Even less substantial 
was the Greensboro Patriot's only explicit charge of Tourgee's partisan- 
ship in a criminal case: "A white boy is sentenced to the penitentiary 
for ten years for defending himself against a man; a colored boy for 
wantonly killing another, is neither fined nor imprisoned." This false 
accusation was promoted by a political dispute, and Tourgee pointed 
out that the "white boy" of sixteen had been so clearly guilty of mur- 
der that the defense requested and received permission to plead guilty 
to manslaughter. The "colored boy" of nine was tried for murder, but 
no evidence was presented, and the jury "more than two-thirds of 
which were conservatives, rendered a verdict of 'Not Guilty.'" The 
Patriot neither retracted nor repeated the tale. 32 

Judge Tourgee was also accused of collaborating with the Republi- 
can governor to pardon hundreds of dangerous criminals, although the 
only specific instance encountered involved a pardon recommended 
by two noted Conservatives, one later governor of the State. 33 If this 
accusation were true, one would expect a significant number of pardons 
in Tourgee's district. However, in the State's twelve judicial districts 

30 Daily Sentinel, May 4, 1869; Daily Standard, May 11, 1869. 

31 Daily Sentinel, May 4, 14, 16, October 11, November 19, 1869; Daily Standard, 
February 1, 1870; Henry K. Nash to Tourgee, January 25, 1870, Tourgee Papers. 

32 Superior Court Record Book and Tourgee to Register (Greensboro), September 6, 
1869, Tourgee Papers, hereinafter cited as Register; Greensboro Patriot, September 2, 
1869. 

33 Hamilton, Reconstruction, 419; Daily Sentinel, January 20, 22, February 5, 1870; 
Daily Standard, April 28, 1870. 



348 The North Carolina Historical Review 

only five of one hundred and twenty-seven pardons and commutations 
granted by the governor before 1870 were from Tourgee's district. All 
apparently had good reasons for being pardoned, with the possible ex- 
ception of a Conservative whose pardon Tourgee had opposed. During 
1870 there was only one pardon and one commutation (of a death 
sentence ) in Tourgee's entire district. Not one of the pardons suggested 
any need for Klan revenge, nor was there ever any connection estab- 
lished between a Klan raid and a pardon. In the two counties of great- 
est Klan activity prior to 1870, there had been no pardons in one and 
those in the other had been urged by Conservatives. 34 

In the final analysis much of the foregoing may appear to be trivia, 
but it was the exaggeration and distortion of these precise trivia that 
the indignant denunication of Republicanism and justification of the 
Klan was largely based upon. Actually when prejudice was affecting 
justice during Reconstruction, it may often have been prejudice against 
rather than for the Negro. The general cultural climate of the South 
lends support to complaints that when Negroes were on trial "the most 
trivial offenses secured conviction upon the most doubtful evidence," 
whereas whites were easily acquitted of proven outrages against 
Negroes. 35 Although white Republicans were not immune from racial 
prejudice, the intensity of the political rivalry was in large part a re- 
flection of Republican challenges to these traditional race mores. Some- 
times conditions in the courts were more satisfactory, as when mem- 
bers of both parties co-operated to find a Negro defendant innocent 
in a celebrated arson case which had driven a white planter to suicide. 
No outcry was made over this verdict, perhaps because public feelings 
were sufficiently assuaged by the three retaliatory murders already 
committed by the Klan. 36 

Other cases indicated that Republican citizens and officials were not 
remiss in their responsibilities. In one criminal case before Tourgee 
a racially mixed jury found two Negro defendants guilty and a third 
innocent in a murder case. The convicted Negroes were sentenced to 
death and shortly executed, and a Negro woman had also been con- 
victed and sentenced to death during this term. Contrary to the Con- 
servative press, criminals were being punished in Republican courts, 
but even this was used to political advantage, Tourgee reportedly hav- 

34 Public Documents, 1869-1870, No. 24; Public Documents, 1870-1871, No. 20. See 
also, Roma Sawyer Cheek, The Pardoning Power of the Governor of North Carolina 
. . . (Durham: Privately printed, 1932), 80, 86, 92-93. 

35 Tod R. Caldwell to Governor Holden, August 6, 1869; Judge S. W. Watts to Holden, 
August 14, 1869; W. P. Grimsley to Holden, August 31, 1869, all in Governor Holden 
Papers. Tourgee to his wife, June 9, 1869, Tourgee Papers. 

30 See above, note 20; J. R. Strayhorn tc Tourgee, June 22, 1887, and Superior Court 
Record Book, Tourgee Papers. 



The Ku Klux Klan 349 

ing "sentenced two colored members of the League ... to be hung." 37 
Judge Tourgee was not inclined to be overly merciful to Negro 
criminals. In his enthusiasm to stamp out crime among the freed slaves 
the opposite was sometimes true, and Tourgee proved anxious to inflict 
harsh punishment as a deterrent to any Klanlike criminal activity 
among the Negroes. 38 When Tourgee sentenced three Negroes to six 
years at hard labor for whipping another Negro while in disguise, 
Conservatives concluded not that Republicans were administering 
impartial justice but that "Judge Tourgee had ascertained . . . that all 
the murders, whippings, and barn-burnings had been done by Loyal 
Leaguers under the garb of Ku Klux!" As punishment for a politically 
motivated arson, which occurred in retaliation against and seven 
months after the height of Klan activity, Tourgee sentenced five 
Negroes to as many as twenty years in jail. In a final milder case, he 
sentenced two Negroes to five years in prison for merely going masked 
and disguised. 39 It was ironic that while Republicans secured these con- 
victions, not one Klansman was successfully prosecuted during this 
period. 

This survey of criminal cases publicly associated with the rise of the 
Klan in Piedmont North Carolina suggests that neither crime nor the 
collapse of legal enforcement retain substantial justification as an ex- 
planation of the Klan. Subsequent denunciations of the Klan by a 
number of Conservatives and their readiness temporarily to accept 
Republican rule also suggests as much. When seeking to block meas- 
ures to crush the Klan, a number of Conservatives, including Klans- 
men, were even prepared to testify as to the continual existence of 
law and order in the State. 40 

This is not to say that Republicans did not stimulate resentment. 
They did, in fact, frequently do so. For example, Judge TourgeVs 
challenges to racial prejudice, his involvement in various political dis- 
putes, and his persistently outspoken and aggressive behavior were 
often provocative. Such behavior contributed to angry denunciations of 
the Judge in the fall of 1869, which were accompanied by new false 
charges of rampant crime and judicial leniency as well as a Conserva- 

37 Daily Sentinel, October 14, 1869; Daily Journal (Wilmington), February 9, 1870, 
hereinafter cited as Daily Journal; Daily Standard, April 5, 1870; Senate Report No. 1, 
192; J. R. Strayhorn to Tourgee, June 22, 1870, Tourgee Papers. 

38 Tourgee to Lucy J. Rider, March 2, 1869, and manuscript addresses, Tourgee 
Papers. 

39 Daily Sentinel, March 16, June 22, 25, 1870; Greensboro Patriot, August 1, 10, 
September 14, 1870; Senate Report No. 1, Part 2, 39-48. 

^Watchman and Old North State (Salisbury), March 11, June 10, 1870, hereinafter 
cited as Watchman and Old North State; Senate Report No. 1, 165-166, 272, 278-279, 
297, 402. 



350 The North Carolina Historical Review 

tive press campaign deliberately to publicize "all the diabolical out- 
rages being committed all over the South by Negroes. . . ." 41 But this 
furor was primarily provoked by Tourgee's court decision favorable to 
the Republicans in a disputed election case, and calm ensued when 
conciliatory Republicans ignored the court decision and compromised 
the issue with the Conservatives. Tourgee's legal decision was not 
effectively challenged, however, and he had indicated his objectivity 
in ruling against his own party in two earlier cases. 42 

Extremist threats or activities by various Republicans may also have 
helped encourage or perpetuate Klan atrocities. Some Republicans 
merely advised forceful resistance to Klan attacks, 43 surely the essence 
of self-preservation, but others suggested possible violent retaliation, 
and one anonymous letter in the Greensboro Republican press openly 
advised that "Assassination must be met by Lynching, and midnight 
murder by midnight execution." 44 Some Republicans were obviously 
prepared to share the sins of their Klan opponents. The activities of 
the Klan in this county actually declined following these threats, but 
moderate Conservatives helped effect this result, and the relative result 
of threats and of appeals for moderation is impossible to determine. 45 
In any event, appeals for private retaliation against the Klan failed to 
gain significant support among Republicans, who instead long relied 
upon pleas for law and order, the influence of Conservative moderates, 
anti-Klan legislation, ineffective State police action, and requests for 
federal assistance. 46 Judge Tourgee also reluctantly endorsed these 
careful and conciliatory tactics because he was convinced of his party's 
weakness, 47 and it has been noted earlier how he harshly punished those 
Republicans who did attempt retaliatory action. Neither force, modera- 
tion, nor the law proved very successful in hindering the Klan, and 
Republican vacillation and weakness, along with the determination of 
the Klansmen, appeared more responsible for this than did any Repub- 
lican counter extremism. 48 



41 See Greensboro Patriot and Register, July-October, 1869; Daily Sentinel, Septem- 
ber 11, 1869. 

42 Daily Sentinel, April 5, 1869. 

43 Register, July 7, 1869. 

44 Tourgee to Daily Standard, n.d., Tourgee Papers; Register, October 20, 1869. 

45 Retaliation may have discouraged the Klan in heavily Negro-populated Greene 
County. See Senate Report No. 1, 95. 

46 For a review of the Republican approach see Holden's Message, passim, and the 
Daily Standard during 1869 and 1870. Some Conservatives responded favorably, see 
Watchman and Old North State, March 11, 23, 26, 1870. 

47 Tourgee to A. M. Tuttle, May 26, 1870, Tourgee Papers; Daily Standard, October 9, 
1869. 

48 Demoralized and split, especially by the railroad fiasco, Republican behavior was 
astonishingly weak. See Hamilton, Reconstruction, 400. 



The Ku Klux Klan 351 

It seems just to conclude that because of their personal and public 
behavior, from equalitarianism to railroad scandal, the Republicans 
had inspired angry opposition. The judge of the district being studied, 
who was the symbol of the law, had certainly helped himself become 
one of the most objectionable personalities of Reconstruction. 49 But 
neither Judge Tourgee's behavior nor conditions in his judicial 
district appear to have warranted the extent and nature of the criticisms 
made nor such a drastic response as the Ku Klux Klan. 

Conservative accusations do not provide as convincing an explana- 
tion of the Klan as does their own determined opposition to Republican 
rule. The leading portion of the Conservative coalition was obsessed 
with a sincere but exaggerated fear of the racial, class, and economic 
intentions and results of Republicanism. This was reflected in endless, 
erroneous accusations of Republican extremism and in bitter opposi- 
tion to the Republican constitution of 1868 before that constitution 
was even prepared. 50 Unwarranted visions of confiscation and "agrar- 
ianism and anarchy" prompted outspoken Conservative objections to 
the rule "of mere numbers" and to "this silly thing called Suffrage" 
whereby the people "as a mass (who are always silly things when 
taken collectively) vote for the very worst men over the best." A 
monarchy was preferred by some, 51 and Conservatives denounced 
equality, "that infidel and unfounded assumption in the Declaration of 
Independence" and considered not human rights but "the possession 
and protection of property" to be "the chief concomitant of civilization. 
. . ." 52 The Republican Party was the main threat to this "civilization," 
and the Negro was the mainstay of that party as well as an "enemy" in 
his own right. Bolstered by widespread ante-bellum racism, Conserva- 
tive fears inclined to merge into a fierce political, economic, and racial 
opposition to major alterations in the servile position of Negro agricul- 
tural labor. After a reluctant and shallow Conservative appeal to the 
Negro voter had failed, that party decided, early in 1868, that "the 
great and all absorbing issue" was Negro equality. "All other issues 
[were] secondary and should be kept so." 53 Thereafter, very little room 

49 For example, North Carolinian (Tarboro), February 1, 1870. 

90 Daily Sentinel, February 4, 6, 10, 11, 18, 1868. 

61 J. Worth to W. Clarke, February 18, 1868, and Worth to A. M. Tomlinson and 
Sons, April 11, 1868, J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton (ed.), The Correspondence of Jona- 
than Worth (Raleigh: The North Carolina Historical Commission [State Department 
of Archives and History], 2 volumes, 1909), II, 1,155-1,156, 1,185, hereinafter cited 
as Hamilton, Jonathan Worth; Morning Star (Wilmington) and Milton Chronicle 
quoted in Daily Standard, April 27, May 3, 1869; Hillsborough Recorder, April 28, 
1869. 

52 Worth to Tomlinson and Sons, April 11, 1868, Hamilton, Jonathan Worth, II, 
1,185; Greensboro Patriot, February 5, 1869. 

63 Daily Sentinel, March 1, July 15, 1867, February 6, 7, March 10, 1868; Greensboro 
Patriot, March-May, 1867. 



352 The North Carolina Historical Review 

existed for any political accommodation with the egalitarian principles 
of Reconstruction. 

It should be noted that this study is not attempting a complete 
evaluation of origins and justifications of the Conservative resistance 
to Reconstruction but is concerned with the intensity, the methods, 
and the impact of that resistance. Aided by their domination of the 
State press and their strong reliance upon the race issue, Conservatives 
cultivated a widespread contempt and hatred for the Republican 
regime, and the continual emotional denunciation of Republicanism 
undoubtedly encouraged many whites to accept violence as a political 
weapon. Sincerely convinced of the correctness of their own beliefs 
and of the oppressive and vindictive nature of Reconstruction, many 
Conservatives were apparently prepared to accept almost any means 
for overthrowing Republican rule. As staid and substantial a citizen 
as Jonathan Worth was sufficiently frightened by "red Republicanism" 
and the rule "of mere numbers" to think that perhaps the only salva- 
tion lay "in Revolution"; while another citizen openly encouraged 
"lynch law." M Ante-bellum methods of slave control may have made 
private "justice" particularly acceptable to ex-slaveowners. 

The Klan is easily connected with political considerations. The Klan 
oath expressed racial and political concerns. While many Klansmen 
sincerely believed that their atrocities were necessary to stop Negro 
crime and impudence, their more perceptive fellows united the neces- 
sity "to keep down the style of the niggers" with the need to "increase 
the Conservative party." 55 The Klan was formed, noted one of its 
leaders in western North Carolina, not to achieve "a white man's 
government only, but— mark the phrase— an intelligent white man's 
government. . . ." 56 Hearsay evidence from a Klansman that the major- 
ity of the State's legislators were Klansmen was perhaps an exaggera- 
tion, but this approximated the situation in the district covered by this 
study. There, a veritable galaxy of Conservative luminaries, ranging 
from State legislators to local policemen, and in some counties half 
the Conservative voting strength, were Klansmen, and such conditions 
were not peculiar to this area. 57 It is also significant that, when they so 

54 Worth to B. S. Hedrick, May 11, June 2, 1868, and Worth to C. A. Eldridge, 
June 15, 1868, Hamilton, Jonathan Worth, II, 1,201, 1,218, 1,222; Daily Sentinel quoted 
in Daily Standard, March 11, 1869. 

^Holden's Message, Appendix, 257; Senate Report No. 1, 263, 285, 292. 

56 J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton (ed.), with the collaboration of Rebecca Cameron, 
The Papers of Randolph Abbott Shotwell (Raleigh: The North Carolina Historical 
Commission [State Department of Archives and History], 3 volumes, 1929-1939), II, 
376. 

57 Hamilton, Reconstruction, 461-464, 507, 517, 525, 537 ; Holden's Message, Appendix, 
139-180, 194, 231, 246; Holden Trial, II, 1,226-1,227, 1,609, 1,944; Senate Report No. 1, 
vii-ix, 36, 83, 287. 



The Ku Klux Klan 353 

desired, Conservatives of character and "responsible position" quickly 
and easily secured the dissolution of the Klan. But outright opposition 
to the Klan was lamentably rare, and contrary to a prevalent view, 
prominent citizens did play a leading part in major Klan crimes. 58 
Klan literature and the precision of troops of Klansmen mounted on 
valuable horses adds further weight to the opinion that the Klan 
"originated with the best classes of the South, was managed and con- 
trolled by them, and was at all times under their direction. It was their 
creature and their agent to work out their purposes and ends." 59 

Conservatives publicly justified the Klan to the extent of supporting 
it, and they sought to profit from its existence. Demands for the dis- 
solution of effective Republican organization conveniently became a 
condition for securing an end to the Klan. Until the Leagues were 
disbanded, said the citizens of Chapel Hill, they would not "condemn 
good citizens and true men, who, in self-defense, resort to other means 
because they fail to obtain from the law that protection and security 
which they have a right to demand." This public resolution immediately 
followed one murder and preceded four additional murders by the 
Klan in that county. In effect, what was demanded was the end of 
Republican rule: "Dark Savages and white ignoramusses wearing the 
oath of office" must be removed. If this were not done peaceably by 
the Republicans, threatened the Conservative press, it would be done 
forcefully by the Klan. 60 

The purposes of the Klan were also illustrated by its victims. In- 
stances of punishing crime or immorality ( the latter invariably involv- 
ing violations of racial mores) were few, and the many assertions 
to the contrary were an effort to conceal the real purpose of the Klan. 
Historians have uncritically accepted a number of such assertions, 61 
whereas when, during the impeachment trial of Governor Holden, 
Conservatives had an opportunity to show that crime did inspire the 
Klan they failed to do so. 

Klan atrocities motivated by other considerations are abundant. 
Ambition, independence, impudence, sauciness, eating with whites, 
the possession of firearms, or other departures from submissive behavior 



58 Hamilton, Reconstruction, 485-486; see below, note 74. 

59 Albion Winegar Tourgee, A Fool's Errand by One of the Fools (New York: Fords, 
Howard and Hulbert [1879, 1880], 1902 edition), 515. 

m Daily Sentinel, September 29, 1869; Hillsborough Recorder, September 8, 1869. 

81 For example, Hamilton, Reconstruction, 467-469, concludes that Caswell Holt was 
whipped for "exposing his person" before a white girl. Holt's independent character 
suggests a different type of resentment. Daily Standard, February 27, April 7, 1869; 
Holden Trial, II, 1,311-1,328, 2,002; Senate Report No. 1, 341-346. Hamilton's view 
is also contradicted by the only direct testimony, that by a Conservative, in another 
case. See Hamilton, Reconstruction, 468-469; Holden Trial, II, 1,785-1,787. 



354 The North Carolina Historical Review 

frequently provoked attacks. Whites, too, were beaten for challenging 
racial mores or for assisting Negroes to better their position. 62 A Klan 
supposedly directed against the baser elements in society persisted in 
numbering many of the most successful, able, and independent Ne- 
groes among its victims. "Uppity" Negro victims in the district included 
three schoolteachers, three shoemakers, two blacksmiths, a mechanic, 
and a miller. Republican and Negro magistrates, speakers, postmasters, 
and League leaders were also common victims of the Klan, and one 
white man was whipped merely for not voting in his efforts to avoid 
the bitter political struggle. 63 Usually these attacks were made upon 
individuals of only local prominence, thus provoking a minimum of 
attention outside the immediate area, while attacks against more 
prominent Republicans failed or were blocked by more cautious Con- 
servative leaders. 64 

The political characteristics of the area in which the Klan was most 
active are also significant. The North Carolina Klan apparently orig- 
inated in Orange County (the only safely Conservative county in the 
district and the home of the chief architect of white supremacy, Wil- 
liam A. Graham) 65 and then radiated outward, first into counties with 
a sizable Negro minority. The counties of heaviest Negro population 
or of greatest Republican strength remained longest free of the Klan. 
In two counties in this Piedmont area, Alamance and Caswell, able 
and moderate Republican leadership, marked by Negro-white co- 
operation, was making an unusual contribution to Republican 
strength. 66 Between the spring and fall elections of 1868, the strength 
of the Republican party in North Carolina declined as it lost thirteen 
counties in the State. During this same period, the only two counties 
that were gained by the Republicans were Alamance and Caswell. As 
the State elections of 1870 approached, it was precisely in these two 
counties that Klan terrorism reached its greatest extreme, as illustrated 
by the following incidents. 

About midnight of February 26, 1870, a large group of robed horse- 
men, moving with order and precision, rode into Graham, the county 
seat of Alamance. Posting sentries at all points of egress from the 
town, the main body of Klansmen proceeded to the home of the 

e2 Holden Trial, II, 1,214-1,215, 1,311-1,328, 1,365, 1,406, 1,484-1,489, 1,495-1,498, 
1,786-1,787; Senate Report No. 1, 145, 148, 341-349, 410-418; Holden's Message, 155- 
156, 199, 203. 

63 Senate Report No. 1, lxvi, 35-36, 415-418; Holden Trial, II, 1,328-1,334; 1,348, 
1,487-1,489, 1,696-1,697 1,923-1,931, 2,075, 2,085-2,112, 2,129; Hoskins, "Lawyer Reid"; 
Daily Standard, May 6, 1870 ; Greensboro Patriot, May 19, 1870. 

64 Hamilton, Reconstruction, 470. 

65 Hamilton, Reconstruction, 250; Daily Sentinel, October 16, 1867, February 6, 1868. 
68 Senate Report No. 1, 78, 84; see below, notes 71, 73. 



The Ku Klux Klan 355 

Negro Republican leader Wyatt Outlaw. Outlaw was taken to the town 
square and hanged from the branch of a huge oak tree, the branch 
pointing in silent mockery to the courthouse less than a hundred feet 
away. 67 Two days earlier the neighboring Greensboro Patriot had com- 
plained that "this Ku Klux cry [was] all a humbug." 68 

This atrocious murder was soon covered with a veil of obscurity 
and distortion by the Conservative press. A lurid tale was told of 
Outlaw having exchanged wives with another Negro, whom the Klan 
had really been after. The deed was also attributed to Republicans, 
Outlaw reportedly having stolen money from the Union Leagues. 
Except for such rumors the event was thereafter largely ignored, and 
three weeks later the entire tale was denounced as a fabrication in 
a distant area of the State. 69 

The lasting Conservative explanation of this atrocity was Outlaw's 
bad character and a tale that Outlaw had previously exchanged gun- 
fire with the Klan. The latter was not believed in Alamance, even by 
the leader of the Klan in the very town where Outlaw was hanged, 
and Outlaw's character and reputation were exceptionally good. 70 His 
real sin was undoubtedly his ability and leadership. Outlaw had been 
publicly active in behalf of his people as early as 1866, and in 1867 he 
helped found the State Republican Party. The most prominent Negro 
in Alamance, he was undoubtedly instrumental in swinging that county 
to the Republicans during 1868. Outlaw had also served as a town com- 
missioner, and no criticisms of his capabilities in that position have 
been discovered. As president of the Union League, he had promoted 
the establishment of a Negro school and church. Ironically, Outlaw 
was also described by one Republican as "the most active man in 
opposition" to proposals for violent retaliation against the Klan, al- 
though he may have been active in seeking legal redress against that 
organization. 71 

This demoralizing blow to the Republicans was soon compounded 
by the murder of another Negro who allegedly had information against 
Outlaw's murderers. Such conditions induced the Republican governor 
to declare Alamance in a state of insurrection, but this was not followed 



67 H olden Trial, II, 1,363-1,369; Senate Report No. 1, 18, 259-260, 265-267; Stephen A. 
Douglas, Political and Social Conditions of the South (Tuscola, Illinois: [pamphlet], 
1880). 

68 Greensboro Patriot, February 24, 1870. 

69 Greensboro Patriot, March 3, 24, 1870; Daily Sentinel, June 22, 1870; Daily Stand- 
ard, March 15, 1870; Daily Journal, March 19, 1870. 

70 Senate Report No. 1, vi-vii, cxii, 18, 32, 270. 

71 Senate Report No. 1, 32; Holden Trial, II, 1,133, 1,190-1,191, 1,199, 1,900-1,901, 
1,916-1,918; Holden's Message, Appendix, 224-225; Daily Standard, October 11, 1866, 
March 28, September 7, 1867, January 28, August 30, 1869, March 3, 1870. 



356 The North Carolina Historical Review 

by any immediate police action. Instead Republicans continued to 
beg for Conservative co-operation in restoring law and order and 
even offered to disband the Union Leagues toward this end. A favor- 
able Conservative response to this appeal did quickly secure an end to 
Klan activity in Orange and Chatham. 72 Elsewhere the situation re- 
mained critical, and the situation in Caswell, a county with a slight 
Negro majority, was for the first time becoming intolerable. 

The white Republican leader of Caswell, John W. Stephens, depicted 
by Conservatives as the most unsavory of scalawags, has remained one 
of the most controversial figures of that era. 73 Stephens was born of 
poor but respected parents in Guilford County in 1834. Before the war 
he became an excellent harness maker and also engaged in the tobacco 
trade. His war record is unclear, but he supposedly avoided conscrip- 
tion—to his friends because of hostility to the Confederacy and to his 
enemies because of cowardice. Out of a wartime dispute, which was 
anything but a case of theft and may have involved the question of 
his loyalty to the Confederacy, arose the subsequent malignment of 
"Chicken" Stephens as a chicken thief. 

After the war Stephens worked for the Freedman's Bureau and was 
soon in Republican ranks, displaying a particular hostility toward the 
ex-slaveholding gentry, whom he blamed for many of the ills of the 
poorer population. Successful in politics and business, Stephens also 
secured a law license before Judge Tourgee ( for which the Judge was 
roundly denounced). Stephens was a minor official in the Methodist 
Church, until expelled because of his politics, and his two brothers, 
Confederate veterans and later locally prominent, recalled him as a 
good and honest man. He was reputedly "a stalwart in every sense and 
could not be overcome physically, mentally or legally, by any one of 
his jealous political enemies," and friend and foe alike agreed on his 
unusual courage and ability. 74 

72 Hamilton, Reconstruction, 485-486; Holden's Message, passim. 

73 The earliest sketch was A. J. Stedman, Murder and Mystery! History of the Life 
and Death of J. W. Stephens of Caswell County (Greensboro, 1870), hereinafter cited 
as Stedman, Murder and Mystery. More favorable are the sketches by Luther H. 
Carleton in Trinity College Historical Studies, II (1898), 1-12, and by Frank Nash in 
Samuel A. Ashe, Biographical History of North Carolina, From Colonial Times to 
the Present (Greensboro: Charles L. Van Noppen, 8 volumes, 1905-1917), IV, 411-421. 
See also, Tom Henderson, "Murder of 'Chicken' Stephens," The State, VI (March 25, 
1939), 9, 19, 24, and various correspondence in the possession of Miss Katherine Hos- 
kins of Summerfield, North Carolina. For a recent hostile account see Manly Wade 
Wellman, Dead and Gone: Classic Crimes of North Carolina (Chapel Hill: The Uni- 
versity of North Carolina Press, 1954). 

74 Tourgee to A. M. Tuttle, May 6, 1870, Tourgee Papers; Greensboro Patriot, 
August 11, 1870; N. C. Carleton to Katherine Hoskins, June 6, 1946, and W. L. Brink- 
ley to Katherine Hoskins, May 30, 1946. Letters in Miss Hoskins' possession. 



The Ku Klux Klan 357 

Stephens' political policies were effective but not reckless. In 1868 
he helped quell threatened violence between the races and pledged 
his life for the good behavior of the Negroes. Under his leadership, Cas- 
well Republicans followed a policy of moderation, promoting co-opera- 
tion with and the support of some Conservative candidates. 75 There 
was little talk of rampant crime or injustice in Caswell before 1870, 
and there was certainly no Republican barrier to the execution of the 
law since the county commissioners, the sheriff and his deputies, and 
other local officials were Conservatives. The Republicans held a voting 
majority, as well as various local and State offices; and as the 
election of 1870 approached, the Klan intensified its nefarious opera- 
tions in Caswell. 76 

Following a flare-up of Klan atrocities in Caswell, some cases of 
arson occurred which were suspected of being in retaliation against 
the Klan, and hearsay later asserted that Stephens was considered in 
some way responsible for these fires. 77 There were other more definite 
reasons for an apparent danger to Stephens. He was the party stalwart; 
he was very close to the Negro population; he had incurred Conserva- 
tive displeasure as a Freedman's Bureau agent and as a magistrate 
handling controversies between Negro laborers and the tobacco 
planters of the county; and he had been active in ferreting out infor- 
mation against the Klan. 78 

Stephens received warnings of plots against his life, but he would 
not back down. The "poor, ignorant, colored Republican voters in 
that county had stood by him at the risk of persecution and starva- 
tion," he reportedly stated, "and he had no idea of abandoning them 
to the Ku Klux." Instead he armed himself with three pistols and 
fortified his home against attack. In February he insured his life to 
provide for his wife and two daughters and in April Judge Tourgee 
helped him prepare his last will and testament. 79 

Meanwhile, proceeding with his political organization, Stephens ap- 
proached the respected and seemingly moderate ex-sheriff Frank Wiley 
and urged him to run for sheriff with Republican support. Wiley asked 

75 Stephens to Governor Holden, August 29, 1868, Governor Holden Papers; Holden 
Trial, II, 2,096; Tourgee to Progress (Raleigh), January 16, 1869, Tourgee Papers. 
This newspaper will hereinafter be cited as Progress. 

76 See above, note 24; Holden Trial, II, 2,130, 2,146-2,151. 

17 Holden Trial, I, 814; II, 1,144; Senate Report No. 1, 400-401. Stephens may have 
been held responsible because he had pledged his life for the good behavior of the 
Negroes. 

78 North Carolina Freedmen's Bureau Records, Volume 98; Holden Trial, I, 758, 
777-778, 784, 811, 814; Holden 's Message, Appendix, 102; Stephens' petition, May, 
1869, Governor Holden Papers; Daily Sentinel, May 12, 1870; Hamilton, Reconstruc- 
tion, 473-474. 

79 Senate Report No. 1, 48-51; Holden 's Message, Appendix, 95; Daily Standard, July 
19, 1870; Greensboro Patriot, August 11, 1870; Stedman, Murder and Mystery, 18. 



358 The North Carolina Historical Review 

time for consideration, but, unknown to Stephens, Wiley was a member 
of the Klan and prepared to use these negotiations to entice Stephens 
to his death. In the audacious words of the planter chief of the Cas- 
well Ku Klux Klan, Stephens had been "tried by the Ku Klux 
Klan and sentenced to death." 80 

On May 21, 1870, a Conservative party convention was held in the 
Caswell County Courthouse. As Stephens sat busily taking notes on the 
proceedings, Wiley approached and suggested that they step out to 
discuss the proposed candidacy for sheriff. The unsuspecting Stephens 
was surprised, overpowered, and disarmed by a group of awaiting 
assassins. He was then strangled and stabbed to death and his body 
thrown upon a woodpile. Locking the door behind them the assassins 
departed. 81 

Some of the leading citizens of the county had participated in this 
cowardly killing. Wiley, the ex-sheriff, "a large and successful farmer, 
a gentleman of the very highest moral character, a peaceable and law 
abiding citizen . . ." had betrayed Stephens to his death. 82 One of the 
most prominent landowners in the county had engineered the plot and 
helped carry it through. Another planter, who was the son of the 
chairman of the board of county commissioners, a State university 
graduate, and one of the most cultured men in the community, had 
played a prominent part. So also had a Conservative candidate for 
office, a respected coachmaker and merchant, an ex-Confederate cap- 
tain, and one gentleman with the name of a prominent planter family. 83 
Four, perhaps five, of the men participating in the murder were Con- 
servative political leaders, and the two men most prominent in the 
assassination had helped write the Conservative party's county plat- 
form, which, of all things, denounced all secret organizations and 
illegality and urged the maintenance of law and order. The final irony 
was that one, if not two, of the assassins appeared in the Republicans' 
compromise ticket of 1870. Wiley would have been the third.* 



84 



80 Confession of John G. Lea, State Department of Archives and History, herein- 
after cited as John G. Lea Confession. Released posthumously in 1935, a copy of this 
confession is available in the Greensboro Daily News, October 2, 1935. 

81 John G. Lea Confession; hearings on the case in Holden's Message, Appendix. See 
also, History and Biography of North Carolina Scrapbook, IX, 25, 32-33, University 
of North Carolina Library; sworn statement of Patsie Barton, December 12, 1872, a 
Negro servant who overheard an account of the murder by Frank Wiley, Tourgee 
Papers. 

82 Greensboro Patriot, August 4, 1870. 

83 Greensboro Patriot, August 4, 1870; C A. Reynolds' letter in Greensboro Daily 
News, October 27, 1935; Holden's